Catalysts to Complexity: Late Holocene Societies of the California Coast


Series: Perspectives in California Archaeology 6
ISBN: 978-1-931745-08-6
Publication Date: Jul 2002
  • Open Access: PDF

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Jon M. Erlandson and Terry L. Jones

Essays in this volume explore the last three and one half millennia of the long history of the California Coast, focusing on the archaeological signatures of emergent cultural complexity. Organized geographically, they provide a mosaic of archaeological, historic, and ethnographic findings that illuminate cultural changes over time. 

Catalysts to Complexity

To explain these Late Holocene cultural developments, the authors address issues ranging from culture history, paleoenvironments, settlement, subsistence, exchange, ritual, power, to division of labor, and employ both ecological and post-modern perspectives. Complex cultural expressions, most highly developed in the Santa Barbara Channel and the North Coast, are viewed alternatively as fairly recent and abrupt responses to environmental flux or the end-product of gradual progressions that began earlier in the Holocene.

Table of Contents
  • Preface by Jon M. Erlandson and Terry L. Jones
  • Ch. 01: Late Holocene Cultural Complexity on the California Coast by Terry L. Jones
  • Ch. 02: Late Holocene San Clemente Island: Notes on Comparative Social Complexity in Coastal Southern California by L. Mark Raab, Andrew Yatsko, Thomas S. Garlinghouse, Judith F. Porcasi, and Katherine Bradford
  • Ch. 03: Southern California in Transition: Late Holocene Occupation of Southern San Diego County by Dennis R. Gallegos
  • Ch. 04: Late Holocene Adaptations along the Northern San Diego Coast: New Perspectives on Old Paradigms by Brian F. Byrd and Seetha N. Reddy
  • Ch. 05: Complexity, Demography, and Change in Late Holocene Orange County by Henry C. Koerper, Roger D. Mason, and Mark L. Peterson
  • Ch. 06: Complexity and the Late Holocene Archaeology of San Nicolas Island by Rene L. Vellanoweth, Patricia Martz, and Steven J. Schwartz
  • Ch. 07: A View from the Mainland: Late Holocene Cultural Developments Among the Ventureño Chumash and the Tongva by Lynn H. Gamble and Glenn S. Russell
  • Ch. 08: Late Holocene Santa Cruz Island: Patterns of Continuity and Change by Ann M. Munns and Jeanne E. Arnold
  • Ch. 09: Emergence of Late Holocene Sociopolitical Complexity on Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands by Douglas J. Kennett and Christina A. Conlee
  • Ch. 10: Late Holocene Cultural Developments Along the Santa Barbara Coast by Jon M. Erlandson and Torben C. Rick
  • Ch. 11: Late Holocene Prehistory of the Vandenberg Region by Michael A. Glassow
  • Ch. 12: Deintensification Along the Central Coast by Terry L. Jones and Jennifer A. Ferneau
  • Ch. 13: Tidal Marsh, Oak Woodlands, and Cultural Florescence in the Southern San Francisco Bay Region by Mark G. Hylkema
  • Ch. 14: Late Holocene in the San Francisco Bay Area: Temporal Trends in the Use and Abandonment of Shell Mounds in the East Bay by Kent G. Lightfoot and Edward M. Luby
  • Ch. 15: Late Holocene Cultural Diversity on the Sonoma Coast by Katherine M. Dowdall
  • Ch. 16: Late Holocene Emergence of Marine-focused Economies in Northwest California by William R. Hildebrandt and Valerie A. Levulett
  • Ch. 17: Cultural Change, Continuity, and Variability Along the Late Holocene California Coast by Jon M. Erlandson