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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Radiocarbon Chronology for Corona Del Mar (CA-SBA-54): A Middle Holocene Site on the Goleta Slough, Santa Barbara County, California


The Corona Del Mar site, a subject of archaeological inquiry since at least the 1920s, was fundamental to William Harrison's development of an archaeological sequence for the Santa Barbara Coast. Harrison, a pioneer in radiocarbon dating of California shell middens, excavated 21 test units at CA-SBA-54 but obtained no C14 dates. Here, we report on a suite of C14 dates recently obtained for Harrison's collections and peripheral deposits at CASBA- 54. The radiocarbon chronology suggests that the site contains at least two discrete Middle Holocene components, one dating between about 5900 and 5400 CYBP and another dated to approximately 4800 CYBP. The younger component validates aspects of Harrison's site chronology, but the earlier dates suggest that CA-SBA-54 was occupied contemporaneously and slightly earlier than the Aerophysics site (CA-SBA-53). Our results help contextualize the Corona Del Mar assemblage in relation to other sites in the Santa Barbara Channel area and the southern California Coast.

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