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An Archaeology of AbundanceReevaluating the Marginality of California's Islands$
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Kristina M. Gill, Mikael Fauvelle, and Jon M. Erlandson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056166

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056166.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 04 December 2020

Responding to Stress or Coping with Abundance?

Responding to Stress or Coping with Abundance?

Reexamining the Marginality of the California Islands for Maritime Hunter-Gatherers

(p.1) 1 Responding to Stress or Coping with Abundance?
An Archaeology of Abundance

Jon M. Erlandson

Kristina M. Gill

Mikael Fauvelle

University Press of Florida

Due to their isolation, insularity, and lower biodiversity, the islands of Alta and Baja California have often been perceived as marginal habitat for humans compared to the adjacent mainland. Recent archaeological work, however, has revealed a deep history of sustained human settlement on many of the islands from the Terminal Pleistocene to the present, where large Native American populations had complex economies, sophisticated maritime technologies, and elaborate material cultures. With modern restoration efforts, the native vegetation, fisheries, and hydrology of the islands is recovering, raising questions about the marginality of the islands prior to European contact. This chapter draws from archaeological and ecological data to argue that the California Islands were optimal habitat for humans, with ample resources, both marine and terrestrial.

Keywords:   Terminal Pleistocene, California Islands, Alta and Baja California

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