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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) Radiocarbon Assay on a Bone "Hook Stone"


A San Nicolas Island "hook stone" manufactured of marine mammal bone was AMS dated to 3,480 ± 60 RCYBP. The vast majority of bird/pelican/hook stone effigies are of steatite or some other lithic material, and they are placed in the Late Prehistoric Period. If the genre begins well before Late Prehistoric times, then the earlier artifacts were probably being fashioned of less durable materials (e.g., wood). However, the early date of this "hook stone" may simply be the consequence of artisans selecting old bone to carve.

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