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A Datable Chumash Pictograph from Santa Barbara County, California

James Deetz
American Antiquity
Vol. 29, No. 4 (Apr., 1964), pp. 504-506
DOI: 10.2307/277995
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/277995
Page Count: 3
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A Datable Chumash Pictograph from Santa Barbara County, California
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Abstract

Pictographs in southern California, while spectacular, are of little interpretive value to the archaeologist unless they can be assigned a date and a cultural affiliation. The nature of most pictograph sites has precluded any normal archaeological dating, such as through portable art found in stratified cave fill. A sandstone slab recovered from a historic Chumash site in 1961 bears recognizable pictographs which make it possible to assign at least some of the cave pictographs to the Chumash during the late 18th century. Although it is still not possible to determine the function of pictographic art in Chumash culture, its presence in villages suggests a somewhat different distribution of these paintings than was formerly suspected.

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