28 Responses

  1. 11,000 yr old sea faring Indians in Cali

    […] Pretty neat. 11,000-Year-Old Seafaring Indian Sites Discovered on California Island | Western Digs […]

  2. 11,000-Year-Old Seafaring Indian Sites Discover...

    […] Just offshore from the chock-a-block development of Southern California, archaeologists have discovered some of the oldest sites of human occupation on the Pacific Coast. On Santa Rosa Island, one …  […]

  3. Catalina Island Site
    Catalina Island Site at |

    […] Here is a newer report on the "Paleo" sites at Catalina Island off the California coast. 11,000-Year-Old Seafaring Indian Sites Discovered on California Island | Western Digs […]

  4. Ceri Mcgavisk
    Ceri Mcgavisk at |

    Could the crescent shaped tools have been used for canoe making?

    Reply
    1. Aaron Bennett
      Aaron Bennett at |

      They look too small and thin for canoe making. Remember that the canoes would have been dugouts. The birchbark canoes wouldn’t come until much later, and in the oat if the country where paper birtches grow. Fire and tools like a adz would be more appropriate for a dugout.

      Reply
      1. Richard Wisecarver
        Richard Wisecarver at |

        The crescent shaped blades look like ulu blades to me or side inserts for lance or harpoon points. As for boats, it seems to me that the channel islands did not have many large trees. Lots od drift wood. Perhaps they were making umiaq type boats. They are usually covered with bearded seal skins or split walrus or sea lion skins by Koniaq, Aleut, Yupik or Inuit Eskimoan folks in Alaska. They can be built over 50 ft. log, are sea worthy and easily pulled up steep shores. They need to dried out regularly out an be used to chase whales or haul heavy cargo. The frames are usually made of drift wood. and easily repaired.

        Reply
  5. Daily Dose of Archaeology 4.0 - Page 117 - Historum - History Forums

    […] 11,000-Year-Old Seafaring Indian Sites Discovered on California Island | Western Digs [quote] Just offshore from the chock-a-block development of Southern California, archaeologists have discovered some of the oldest sites of human occupation on the Pacific Coast. On Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands just 65 kilometers from Santa Barbara, nearly 20 sites have been found that reveal signs of prehistoric human activity, from massive middens of abalone shells to distinctive stone points and tool-making debris. At least nine of the sites have what archaeologists say is “definitive evidence” of ancient Paleoindian occupation, about half of them having been dated to 11,000 to 12,000 years ago — making their inhabitants some of the earliest known settlers of North America’s West Coast. [quote] Distinctive crescent-shaped stone tools, like this from neighboring San Miguel Island, are among the Paleocoastal artifacts that have been identified. (University of Oregon) […]

  6. bob wilkinson
    bob wilkinson at |

    The crescent shaped stone tools look similar to the ulu’s (spelling?) used by the Inuit, often associated with maritime economies sort of a blubber matic. Microwear and residue analysis may produce some interesting results.

    Reply
  7. Tom Ridenour
    Tom Ridenour at |

    Tomol canoes are built from Red Wood Trees made into planks and sewn together with cordage and a mixture of pine pitch and asphaltum to seal the joints. No Dugouts

    Reply
    1. Joel
      Joel at |

      Do they really still cut down redwoods just for that?

      Reply
    2. Rebecca T
      Rebecca T at |

      True, but the indigenous people of southern California used Tule Balsa Canoes- bundles of reed coated with naturally occurring tar found on the beaches. Southern California, specifically the region of coast adjacent to the Channel Islands, did not grow abundant redwoods, It supports oak forests. Redwoods would be the central coast and points north. The tool looks more to be a food preparation instrument, or a type of sweat scraper.

      Reply
      1. Bill
        Bill at |

        Looks like a fish scaler. Sharp points on the end for the tough ones. Maybe the convex side for preparing skins (?)

        Reply
  8. John Collins
    John Collins at |

    Any evidence of them eating sea mammals? I can see them butchering on the beach and then carrying only the flesh up the slope.
    Why establish themselves up-slope? Defensive position? Cool breezes? Folk memory of severe storms or a tsunami? The turmoil associated with the Oldest, Older and particularly the Younger Dryas periods of 11,500 – 12,000 years ago might have been their “current events”.

    Reply
  9. Emily
    Emily at |

    My guess on the crescent-shaped tools is that they were used to scrape the abalone out of the shells. Are they two-sided, meaning a separate use for the convex and serrated concave side?

    Reply
  10. 11,000-Year-Old Seafaring Indian Sites Discovered on California Island, Some of the Oldest Sites of Human Occupation on U.S.’s Pacific Coast | Amateur-Science
  11. Lee
    Lee at |

    “Indians”? Come on, who uses that terms for Native Americans anymore? Do you know how much confusion that causes? There are actual theories of people traveling across the ocean to populate the Americas, and this terminology makes it sound like that is what you’re talking about. As a writer for a scientific journal, you should know better.

    Reply
    1. John
      John at |

      If the term “Indian” is a source of pride and used by the North American Indians today, then the term “Indian” is fine. It’s the political correctness of the generic term “native” that is a fabrication of new thinking. “Indian”, if I remember correctly is a term similar to “Indigenous”. If you thinking that the term “indian” is reserved to people who live in geopolitical India, then you are not respecting their tribal memberships by generically referring to them as the only “indians”. Right?

      Reply
      1. Lee Johnson
        Lee Johnson at |

        The term “Indian” was actually mistakenly given to the indigenous population of this continent by Europeans who were lost & thought that they`d landed on the continent of INDIA, another continent, across another ocean that they didn`t know was there… thinking that there was only 1 ocean covering the flat world… Don`t sail TOO far, you may fall off the edge lol
        By the way Signoir Columbo was actually a gifted con man, having studied the writings & maps left behind by the much earlier Viking explorers. The Vikings had been to NewFoundLand in approx. 1050`s a.d era…

        Reply
  12. Laurie Covarrubias
    Laurie Covarrubias at |

    Yea for Tom Ridenour! Do you pull?

    Reply
  13. Artefacts from 11,000-Year-Old Seafaring Indian...

    […] Just offshore from the chock-a-block development of Southern California, archaeologists have discovered some of the oldest sites of human occupation on the Pacific Coast.On Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands just 65 kilometers from Santa Barbara, nearly 20 sites have been found that reveal signs of prehistoric human activity, from massive middens of abalone shells to distinctive stone points and tool-making debris.At least nine of the sites have what archaeologists say is “definitive evidence” of ancient Paleoindian occupation, about half of them having been dated to 11,000 to 12,000 years ago — making their inhabitants some of the earliest known settlers of North America’s West Coast.“Finding these sites and the definitive evidence for early occupation is crucial and tells us that people were there, occupying the landscape at the end of the Pleistocene,” said Dr. Torben Rick of the Smithsonian Institution, who led the survey that uncovered the sites.  […]

  14. Gerry
    Gerry at |

    Ever heard the term “Native American”?

    Reply
  15. Jim R
    Jim R at |

    It’s my understanding that Red Ab.’s are found in mostly
    depths of 10 to 50 ft- – – –
    Black and greens are closer to shore…..
    Is it possible, that they were able to collect in deeper water?

    Reply
  16. karl kempton
    karl kempton at |

    problems with article — these are chumash sites. chumash were on the islands and coast longer than these dates. concept of paleo-indians is a continuation of not listening to the chumash despite evidence.

    arlington springs burial was a young woman, dated 13,500 years ago. chumash.

    the archaeological report for diablo canyon nuclear power plant cemetery that was dug up before construction. now on the coast but oldest date showed 9500 years continuos occupation. ocean several miles west at that time. coastal sites now submerged. at bottom of the cemetery, obsidian from glass mountain east of mammoth of the sierra. means trade route over 200 miles long in place.

    nowhere in original report or its 25 anniversary republication and edition can you find a reference to the chumash. instead use of a material artifact to name a pecific archaeological made up period.

    Reply
    1. kpgoog
      kpgoog at |

      The Chumash history is largely unknown. Their language was distinct from any of the surrounding tribes at the time of European contact.. The tomol boat employs a construction technology of sewn planks only seen in the region of the Channel Islands, South America, and Polynesia. The shell fish hooks they used resemble those in found in Polynesia. Some of their words are similar to those used in Hawaii, suggesting a recent contact or influx at or after about A.D. 1200. What you refer to as Chumash culture is only a few hundred years old, distinctly different than the cultural remains referred to in the article.

      Reply
  17. Thinkin Person
    Thinkin Person at |

    oh boy! these articles are difficult to read. Is this some big surprise? San Francisco has sites 10,000 years old that have been ignored to justify claiming Ohlone are all gone.

    Also, please consider when speaking of ‘Midden,’ many of these Sites were BURIAL sites and WHO buries their ancestors in Trash! No one! (shared by an elder).

    Please, its 2014. Can you speak with any Chumash for this article?

    I don’t know if the larger archeological community understands how your articles and way of speaking come off to other people. We have so many positive collaborations, maybe learning how it feels to hear these silly lopsided reports will make a difference.

    Many native people won’t talk to you guys at all, its simply too painful to hear the ignorance spoken with an air of authority.

    Reply
  18. karl kempton
    karl kempton at |
    Reply
  19. Jeff
    Jeff at |

    We are limited by trying to view civilizations of 10,000-20,000 years ago through the prism of our current world.

    Considering that 1) Most civilizations have located themselves near bodies of water like coastlines or rivers and 2) The level of the oceans 10,000-20,000 years ago was 200-300 feet lower would mean that the vast treasure trove of archeological evidence lies 200-300 feet underwater in locations of what would have been the coast line of the time.

    If science develops inexpensive undersea drones with decent sensors we may have to rewrite much of what we know about civilizations of North America and the world.

    Reply
  20. Is this some type of artifact?
    Is this some type of artifact? at |

    […] Could be related to "paleo crescent blades" found on the southern California Islands. Here is a link. […]

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