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Donax Don't Tell: Reassessing Late Holocene Land Use in Northern San Diego County

  • Author(s): Rosenthal, Jeffrey S
  • Hildebrandt, William R
  • King, Jerome H
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper considers the two competing models of late Holocene settlement and subsistence on the northern San Diego County coast. A large body of regional data derived from single component site contexts at Camp Pendleton and surrounding areas suggest that neither the coastal decline nor the coastal intensification alternative is entirely accurate, and that a more detailed analysis of late Holocene land use is required. This synthesis draws parallels with other parts of the California coast as well as to interior regions of San Diego County. Evidence for intensive use of coastal resources is limited primarily to an interval corresponding to the Middle Period elsewhere in southern California. Late Period economies, on the other hand, appear to have had a terrestrial focus, with short-term seasonal occupations of the coastal zone directed primarily at the harvesting of bean clam (Donax gouldii) and other seasonally abundant resources.

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