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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A 9,500 Year-Old Human Burial from CA-SRI-116, Santa Rosa Island


Few scholars have accepted the evidence presented so far for associations between humans and mammoths, but Orr described a number of other intriguing early sites that may place humans on Santa Rosa Island by the terminal Pleistocene. For several years, we have been studying these and other early Santa Rosa Island sites. We have yet to find evidence for a Pleistocene occupation of the island (Erlandson and Morris 1992), but several early Holocene sites offer evidence for the settlement of the island prior to 8,000 years ago (Erlandson 1992). One of these is an isolated human burial at CA-SRI-116, a large shell midden located near the mouth of Lobo Canyon on the northeast coast of the island (Fig. 1). In this paper, we report on a suite of radiocarbon dates for CA-SRI-116 and describe the available data on the stratigraphic context of the burial, its position, and its artifact associations.

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