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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Significance of Small Sites to California Archaeology


These examples of the research potential of small sites in two neighboring regions of coastal California should drive home the point that small sites turn out to have considerable relevance to regional research once the commitment is made to understand their role in regionally based cultural systems. Small sites such as CA-SBA-1582 are significant to regional research because of their unique contents, whereas the small sites in northern Vandenberg Air Force Base are so because of the patterns of variation in their contents and their spatial relationships to one another. In both cases, the testing of behavioral hypotheses accounting for their contents must rely on knowledge of their distribution and abundance and their relationships with large sites.

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