The Development of Sociopolitical Complexity among Chumash Hunter-Gatherer-Fishers on California’s Northern Channel Islands
This is an abstract from the "Complex Fisher-Hunter-Gatherers of North America" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The Chumash of the Santa Barbara Channel region of southern California are well known among archaeologists for developing complex sociopolitical systems within a hunter-gatherer-fisher subsistence system. This includes the advent of both hereditary high-status leaders and craft specialization in the form of shell bead and stone drill production industries. Chumash territory encompasses California’s northern Channel Islands, occupied from the terminal Pleistocene until Spanish missionization in the early 19th century. These islands still contain a well-preserved trans-Holocene record of occupation. We present evidence of craft specialization (i.e., microblades and bead production refuse) and subsistence change (i.e., faunal remains) from Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands, the largest and most intensively occupied of the northern islands, to trace the appearance of complexity among the Chumash. Evidence of changing landscape use and intensification of non-subsistence labor practices is central to understanding the rise of complexity in the region. Ethnohistoric and environmental research paradigms have led to a range of definitions for complexity in the region, an issue that current work still seeks to disentangle. This study will place the appearance of sociopolitical complexity within a global context as a valuable comparative case for other examples of non-agricultural coastal hunter-gatherer-fishers.
Cite this Record
The Development of Sociopolitical Complexity among Chumash Hunter-Gatherer-Fishers on California’s Northern Channel Islands. Scott Sunell, Christopher Jazwa. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451127)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23622