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Maritime Subsistence at a 9300 Year Old Shell Midden on Santa Rosa Island, California

Jon M. Erlandson, Torben C. Rick, René L. Vellanoweth and Douglas J. Kennett
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 26, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 255-265
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/530513
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530513
Page Count: 11
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Maritime Subsistence at a 9300 Year Old Shell Midden on Santa Rosa Island, California
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Abstract

A deeply buried shell midden (CA-SRI-6) on Santa Rosa Island, California appears to have been a residential campsite occupied about 9300 years ago. Although few artifacts were recovered from this Early Holocene component, faunal remains suggest a heavy reliance on marine resources, probably supplemented by terrestrial plant foods. Dietary reconstructions suggest that shellfish (especially abalone) provided about 85% of the estimated meat yields, fish about 14%, with birds and sea mammals each contributing less than 1%. These data suggest that Early Holocene adaptations on the Channel Islands were distinct from the coastal mainland in many ways and that maritime hunter-gatherers had adapted to a variety of Pacific Coast habitats by this early time.

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