Early Holocene Cultural Ecology on the California Coast

  • Jon M. Erlandson
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


In Chapter 8, I presented evidence for both continuity and variability in early adaptations within a single region of the California coast: the Santa Barbara Channel. Within this area, however, there is only limited evidence for the origin of the earliest occupants of the California coast, or the structure of their economies prior to about 8,500 years ago. Contemporary sites containing similar artifact and faunal assemblages, and presumably reflecting similar adaptive patterns, have been reported along much of the southern and central California coast, extending from at least San Luis Obispo County (see Greenwood 1972) on the north to San Diego and Baja California to the south (e.g., Warren 1964; Hubbs et al. 1962:219). Recent discoveries on the northern California coast (Schwaderer et al. 1990; Jones 1991) extend the range of these early coastal hunter-gatherers. In this chapter, I review the evidence for the distribution and antiquity of early (i.e., pre-7500 cal bp) sites on the California coast, and the adaptations of the people who produced them. My review focuses on evidence for spatial and temporal variation in early Holocene economies. Within this context, broader issues related to the origin and development of early cultures of the California coast can be addressed more effectively.


California Coast Faunal Remains Mussel Shell Projectile Point Shell Midden 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon M. Erlandson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OregonEugeneUSA

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