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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Archaeology in the Forgotten Peninsula: Prehistoric Settlement and Subsistence Strategies in Northern Baja California


The preliminary data suggest that the settlement pattern in the Rio Rosario Valley was extremely mobile and dispersed, and not semisedentary and concentrated as the mission documents suggest. The high level of settlement mobility and low levels of population aggregation are indicated by various lines of archaeological evidence, and a hypothesis is advanced linking the impermanence of settlement to limits in terrestrial resources, particularly the local staple plant food, the coastal agave (Agave shawii). This raises issues regarding the role of marine and terrestrial resources in prehistoric coastal adaptations, not only on the Pacific coast of Baja California but in southern Alta California and elsewhere.

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