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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fake Effigies from the Southern California Coast? Robert Heizer and the Effigy Controversy


This paper discusses the difficulty of distinguishing authentic versus fake effigy figures from coastal and island southern California, and the commotion caused among the scientific community as it attempted to deal with atypical effigies that were bought and sold by various dealers, individuals, and museums. Some of the individuals involved in these dealings were known pothunters. This fact compounds the problem of authenticating pieces that lack firm provenience.

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