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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A San Clemente Island Perspective on Coastal Residential Structures and the Emergence of Sedentism


This paper contains a brief review of coastal residential structures, illustrating their modes of construction and possible uses. This review provides a basis of comparison with residential structures investigated at the Nursery site (CA-SCLI-1215), San Clemente Island. The latter provides new information from the southern Channel Islands, a region that remains largely terra incognita with regard to maritime cultural evolution. The Nursery site data include well preserved architectural features with associated radiocarbon dates. These data show that residential structures similar to those of the northern Santa Barbara Channel were being constructed on San Clemente Island as early as 3,700 radiocarbon years B.P. We also suggest that the appearance of these structures may have been related to important maritime economic trends that affected all of coastal southern California.

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