Volume 31, Issue 1, 2011
Des Lauriers: Island of Fogs: Archaeological and Ethnohistorical Investigations of Isla Cedros, Baja California
Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2010. 221 pp., 123 gures, 26 tables, notes, references, index, $60 (cloth) ISBN 978-0-60781-007-0
Raab, Cassidy, yatsko, and Howard: California Maritime Archaeology: A San Clemente Island Perspective
Altamira Press, Lanham, MD, 2009. xix+ 270 pp. $70.00 (hardcover).
Lancaster, California: Labyrinthos, 2005. 492 pp. paperback, illustrations, bibliography. ISBN 0-911437-12-6. $89.95
New york: oxford University Press, 2007. vii + 688 pp., gs., tables, biblio., glossary, index, CD-RoM. $64.95 (paper) ISBN 0-19-517384-8.
Ethnographic and ethnohistoric data are used to develop expectations for communal mourning features in the archaeological record of the greater Los Angeles basin. This analysis establishes that such ritual was distinct from funerary activity at the time of death in both practice and meaning, and the material remains of communal mourning may be identi ed based on constituents, object condition, item placement, feature structure, and intrasite context. Diachronic changes in communal mourning revealed in the ethnographic and ethnohistoric record also suggest, however, that archaeological evidence of such practices in the distant past may not conform in all respects to expectations derived from written sources. Cross-cultural information on the place of public performances of mourning and remembrance within small-scale societies in California provides a context for future studies on the social signi cance of communal mourning in the distant past.
Changes in Marine Subsistence on San Miguel Island from 8,500 to 2,400 Years Ago: Analysis of Bulk Samples from Cave of the Chimneys (CA-SMI-603)
We present a detailed faunal analysis of bulk samples excavated from Cave of the Chimneys, located on the northeast coast of San Miguel Island. The site contains at least six discrete cultural components in a well-strati ed and well- preserved sequence spanning roughly 6,000 years, from about 8,500 to 2,400 years ago. Although species composition and shell sh richness changed over time, rocky intertidal shell sh dominate the faunal assemblage. The Early Holocene strata predominantly consist of California mussels (Mytilus californianus) with other species present in low numbers. The contribution of other shell sh taxa in the Middle Holocene strata greatly increases so that no single species dominates the assemblage. Fish remains are present throughout, but vary in abundance and dietary importance. We discuss these trans-Holocene patterns in the context of other San Miguel Island sites and general patterns of maritime subsistence developed for the Santa Barbara Channel region.
Hunter-gatherer settlement studies often use toolstone diversity to measure the degree to which mobility was regular, expansive, or localized. The results of a 10 km.2 probabilistic survey investigating prehistoric wetland use at Mono Lake demonstrate a pattern that is counter-intuitive to preconceived notions. Diachronic change in landscape use is investigated with a combination of obsidian sourcing and hydration analyses. Rather than conforming to a linear distance-decay model, source distributions appear to re ect differential patch-choice among lakeside habitats. Comparisons with environmental and paleoenvironmental data underscore changes in the use of wetland habitats and highlight the utility of surface survey and obsidian data for understanding past settlement-subsistence patterns.
Previous comparisons of modern maternal genetic lineages with those obtained from Early and Middle Horizon burial sites suggested population discontinuity in the Central Valley. This result was interpreted as support for a later Penutian expansion. This study re-addresses the question of biological continuity in the Central Valley with more modern samples and attention to genetic variants that offer higher resolution. Ample evidence of biological continuity in the Central Valley is found. This includes evidence of a Yok-Utian population expansion. The estimated timing of this population expansion is consistent with the estimated time depth of the Yok-Utian language family and the appearance of the Early Horizon in the archaeological record. The inclusion of ancient and modern genetic samples from the Columbia Plateau and Great Basin, motivated by evidence of cultural ties between these regions and the Central Valley, supports the hypothesis that the northwest Great Basin may have played a pivotal role in the spread of both genes and culture in the West.
LOST AND FOUND
The birth of California archaeology and the systematic exploration of California’s past can arguably be traced to the 1870s and (to a large extent) to the work of three very different men—Stephen Bowers, León de Cessac, and Paul Schumacher. All three carried out the majority of their excavations primarily on the Channel Islands and along the Santa Barbara coast, and all three generated extensive, often poorly studied collections that are presently curated in institutions largely outside of California.
Ringing rocks were, and still are, an important part of the cultural landscape for the Kumeyaay people of San Diego County. This report discusses the anthropological and historical documentation that is available concerning one such “ringing rock” or “bell rock” in the San Pasqual Valley, and describes its recent relocation within the valley.
The age of some San Dieguito artifacts at the C. W. Harris Site is shown stratigraphically to be older than 9,030 (11,222 to 9,322) B.P. The artifacts associated with dates of 8,490 (10,561 to 8,540) B.P. may have been redeposited with the gravel and sand in which they were found, and may be older than 8,490 (10,561 to 8,540) B.P. The San Dieguito-bearing deposit, Stratum E, is divided into three Units: EI, EII, and EIII. EI contains undisturbed San Dieguito artifacts and features located in coarse and ne sands overlaying gravel and sand deposits. Unit EII is composed of the fill of Channel 1, which cuts through the undisturbed San Dieguito level in Unit EI. Channel I ll consists of gravel and sand strata containing redeposited San Dieguito artifacts. A radiocarbon date of 9,030 (11,222 to 9,322) B.P. was obtained from a stratum in coarse sands overlying the stream deposits of Channel 1. Unit EIII is Channel 2, cut into the edge of Channel 1 in Unit EII. The boundary between EII and EIII is an erosion surface which rises toward the east, just 20 cm. above the location where the date of 9,030 (11,222 to 9,322) B.P. was obtained. Channel 2 was cut to bedrock and lled with three gravel and sand strata containing San Dieguito artifacts. Two dates of 8,490 (10,561 to 8,540) B.P. were obtained on charcoal from the middle stratum. Warren and True (1961) believed a charcoal lens from this stratum was a hearth, evidence of human occupation at 8,490 (10,560 to 8,540) B.P., but this now seems unlikely. The San Dieguito occupation at the C. W. Harris Site began sometime prior to 9,030 (11,222 to 9,322) B.P. and may have persisted to ca. 8,540 (10,561 to 8,540) B.P.