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Radiocarbon Determinations from the Frey Creek Drainage in Northern San Diego County


Recent radiocarbon age determinations (see Fig. 1) allow a reexamination of the suggested age of the San Luis Rey assemblages. When C. W. Meighan defined the San Luis Rey Complex as a local manifestation of the late prehistoric occupancy in northern San Diego County, neither the geographic (territorial) nor the temporal boundaries of this tentative cultural unit were clear (Meighan 1954). Based on the condition of the midden and a number of artifactual traits, a temporal span of A.D. 1400 to 1750 was proposed for the non-pottery component (San Luis Rey 1), and since pottery was conspicuous by its absence in the "type site" excavations, it was suggested that this complex also dated the arrival of ceramics into this particular region. A tentative date of A.D. 1750 for the terminal end of the pre-pottery phase, of course, meant that San Luis Rey II (whatever that represented) had to be fitted into the very limited temporal slot extending from A.D. 1750 to somewhat before 1850. Using mission secularization as the approximate time for the demise of a functional prehistoric lifeway, San Luis Rey II would indeed have had a short duration.

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