Maritime subsistence at a 9300 year old shell midden on santa rosa island, california

Jon M. Erlandson, Torben C. Rick, René L. Vellanoweth, Douglas J. Kennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A deeply buried shell midden (CA-SRI-6) on Santa Rosa Island, California appears to have been a residential campsite occupied about 9300 years ago. Although few artifacts were recovered from this Early Holocene component, faunal remains suggest a heavy reliance on marine resources, probably supplemented by terrestrial plant foods. Dietary reconstructions suggest that shellfish (especially abalone) provided about 85% of the estimated meat yields, fish about 14%, with birds and sea mammals each contributing less than 1 %. These data suggest that Early Holocene adaptations on the Channel Islands were distinct from the coastal mainland in many ways and that maritime hunter-gatherers had adapted to a variety of Pacific Coast habitats by this early time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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