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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tule Reeds and Stone - Localized, Non-Specialized Technology in Laguna Canyon, Santa Cruz Island

  • Author(s): Sunell, Scott David
  • Advisor(s): Arnold, Jeanne E
  • et al.

This project aims to understand the ways in which the Island Chumash who were not participating in specialized bead-making activities invested their labor. Considerable research on the Northern Channel Islands focuses on the nature and distribution of specialist labor spent on beads, drills, and sewn-plank canoes. The history of small-scale production based on the resources in individual canyons on the islands has received less attention. I categorize two new types of heavy igneous tools that may have played a significant role in the occupation of Laguna Canyon on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. I did not identify any significant evidence for bead manufacture. Instead I recovered artifacts suggesting long-term, informal use of local igneous material. This research demonstrates a significantly different history of resource exploitation and production in Laguna than elsewhere on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. In addition to this work, I also provide a basic pattern of settlement and an outline for future work to improve our understanding of occupation during a critical period of the island's past.

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