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Above and Below the Waves: Advances in the Search for a Late Pleistocene Colonization of California’s Islands

Author(s): Amy Gusick ; Jillian Maloney ; Todd Braje ; Jon Erlandson

Year: 2017

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Methodological advances are reshaping our understanding of island colonization. Refinements in dating methods, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, and search techniques have resulted in discoveries that challenge outdated theories of islands as marginal to human migration, settlement, and subsistence. This is particularly true for research related to the initial peopling of the New World via a Pacific Coast route. Once considered irrelevant to the story of New World colonization, California’s Northern Channel Islands have become a focal point in the search for evidence of Late Pleistocene migrations to North America. Integral to this search is identification of Pleistocene landforms that may harbor cultural material. Our search efforts have focused on the terrestrial and submerged portions of the island landscape that were intact and subaerial during the Late Pleistocene. By integrating paleoenvironmental reconstructions, archaeology, historical ecology, and terrestrial and marine geology, researchers are advancing methods that aid in understanding early island colonization and the search for the first Americans.

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Above and Below the Waves: Advances in the Search for a Late Pleistocene Colonization of California’s Islands. Amy Gusick, Jillian Maloney, Todd Braje, Jon Erlandson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430653)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14484

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America