The finding of three settlements in Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands off the coast of California confirms a sea-oriented cultural context of the first settlers of America, including clear coastal navigation capabilities, as they must have crossed nothing less than 10 km of open sea to reach the island.
The peoples, who inhabited the island some 12,000 years ago, at the end of the Ice Age, also had technology that seems oriented to the exploitation of the marine resources, with a highly refined kind of workmanship, very different in any case to that of better known Clovis and Folsom cultures from the North American interior.
In spite of the fact that much of the places where these peoples lived are now underwater, the archaeologists were able to document the exploitation of varied sea resources. The quite unique crescent-shaped arrow projectiles, a special design for bird hunting, had been documented without context before in continental coasts but never in such amounts nor associated to so many bird bones.
Also, until now no reliable dates existed.
|California Channel Islands locator (Wikimedia Commons)|
Source: Science Daily (another version of the same story can be read at BBC, including a more complete photo of the toolkit).
Ref. John M. Erlandson et al., Paleoindian Seafaring, Maritime Technologies, and Coastal Foraging on California’s Channel Islands. Science 2011. Pay per view.