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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Catalina Island Soapstone Manufacture


Quarrying and mining during the aboriginal occupation of Catalina Island has attracted the attention of archaeologists and other investigator over the years, as indicated by numerous descriptions of extractive activities and locational information (Schumacher 1878, 1879; Reiss 1955; Jones 1956; Heizer and Treganza 1944; Meighan and Johnson 1957; Meighan and Rootenberg 1957; Leonard 1971, 1973, 1976; Stevens 1977; Romani n.d.). Although numerous workshop and quarry areas have been identified and recorded in the area of the Airport, Empire Landing, and the Valley of the Ollas (Fig. 1), only limited research has been directed toward answering specific questions concerning the exploitation of soapstone, especially in terms of selection of material and actual production methods.

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