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A High-Precision Chronology for Two House Features at an Early Village Site on Western Santa Cruz Island, California, USA

Christopher S Jazwa, Lynn H Gamble, Douglas J Kennett


We establish a high-precision radiocarbon chronology for 2 house depressions at CA-SCRI-333, a large prehistoric village on the western end of Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. SCRI-333 is a large mound composed of a shell midden with more than 50 house depressions evident across its surface. We develop a chronology of occupation and activity for 2 of these depressions (6 and 32) based on a stratified sequence of accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates. Carbonized twig and marine shell (Mytilus californianus) samples were selected from well-defined stratigraphic sections. Analytical error for these measurements is ±20 14C yr. We use a Bayesian statistical framework to propose an age model for the deposition of 2 features that may be associated with house construction. These data indicated that the features were not contemporaneous and suggest that house construction may have been sequential during the site’s occupation, a hypothesis that needs to be tested further. The methodologies used in this study have the potential to increase the chronological precision of household archaeology at SCRI-333, on the northern Channel Islands, and around the world.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.v55i1.16447


California; Channel Islands; Modeling; House Depressions

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