Household Archaeology on the Northern Channel Islands of the Santa Barbara Coast, California

Author(s): Lynn Gamble; Brian Barbier

Year: 2015


House depressions are visible at many archaeological sites on the Northern Channel Islands, including some that are thousands of years old, yet household archaeology is a topic that is often overlooked in the region. Documenting the number, size, location, and layout of house depressions can help in understanding past settlement strategies, access to resources, the emergence of cultural complexity, demography, cultural landscapes, environmental change, and craft specialization, among other significant issues. In this paper, we present data on house depressions and structures from archaeological sites on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Islands and situate this information in a chronological framework. These data are analyzed and compared to ethnographic and ethnohistoric records that provide details about Chumash Indian houses in the Santa Barbara Channel area, both on the mainland and the islands. Some of these accounts suggest that island settlements are marginal when compared with those on the mainland. The perception of island settlements as marginal places is addressed in this paper through the analysis of detailed empirical evidence in the archaeological record. Changes through time in household organization are noted and correlated with demographic shifts, cultural landscapes, significant resources, climate change, and other important issues.

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Cite this Record

Household Archaeology on the Northern Channel Islands of the Santa Barbara Coast, California. Lynn Gamble, Brian Barbier. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395125)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;