Marine Ventures - Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations - Hein B. Bjerck

Marine Ventures - Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations - Hein B. Bjerck

20. The Seascapes of Santarosae: Paleocoastal Seafaring on California’s Channel Islands

Marine Ventures - Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations - Hein B. Bjerck

Jon M Erlandson [+-]
University of Oregon
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Dr. Erlandson has been a professor at UO since 1990. An archaeologist who has done fieldwork in California, Oregon, Alaska, and Iceland, Erlandson has written or edited 16 books and published over 200 scholarly articles. Research and teaching interests include the development of maritime societies, historical ecology in coastal environments, human evolution and migrations, the peopling of the Americas, the history of seafaring, traditional technologies, dating methods in archaeology, geoarchaeology, cultural resource management, and collaborative research with indigenous communities. Since 2005, Erlandson has directed the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology at the UO. He is also a co-editor of the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology.

Description

Islands occupied since the Late Pleistocene have undergone major geographic changes that affected human settlement and behaviour. I discuss the effects of post-glacial sea level rise on the geography of California’s Northern Channel Islands (NCI), documenting the dynamic nature of seascapes that maritime people encountered over the last 13,000 years or more. Today the NCI are located 19 to 44 km from the mainland, with four islands separated by three substantial water gaps 5.6 to 8.8 km wide. Lower Terminal Pleistocene sea levels caused the NCI to coalesce into a single island known as Santarosae,~125 km long and separated from the mainland by as little as 10 km. Santarosae lost ~65 percent of its landmass over the past 15,000 years, breaking into four islands between ~11,000 and 9,000 years ago. Paleocoastal peoples who occupied Santarosae experienced a fundamentally different seascape than later island peoples, with: (1) significantly shorter minimum voyaging distances to the mainland; (2) stronger currents running through this narrower gap; (3) a single long island whose southern coast was more sheltered from prevailing northwesterly winds and seas; and (4) an inability to use boats to cut across the three straits that separate the NCI today.

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Citation

Erlandson, Jon. 20. The Seascapes of Santarosae: Paleocoastal Seafaring on California’s Channel Islands. Marine Ventures - Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 325-335 Nov 2016. ISBN 9781781791363. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=25660. Date accessed: 22 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.25660. Nov 2016

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