Arnold, Jeanne E.. Craft specialization in the prehistoric Channel Islands, California

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1 Introduction: Chumash Specialization

Craft Specialization

Research Objectives

The Study Area And Regional Prehistory

A Model Of Cultural Evolution

Introduction To The Chumash Microblade Industry

Ethnohistorical Evidence For Specialization Among The Chumash

Archaeological Evidence For Specialization Among The Chumash

Specialization: Expectations For The Archaeological Record

Indicators Of Specialization

Proposed Correlates

Outline Of Field And Collections Research

2 Specialization And Exchange

Theories On The Emergence Of Specialization

Origins And Uses Of Primitive Moneys

Ethnographic Review: Outside California

Ethnographic Review: California

Archaeological Review: Evidence For Specialization

3 Microblade Production Industries

Technological Considerations

Flat, Thin Blades Or Microblades

Thick, Sturdy Microblades

North American Microblade Industries

The Burin Problem


Microblade, Drill, And Microblade Core Attributes

4 Chert, Quarries, And Resource Control

Chert Resources

The Monterey Formation On Santa Cruz Island

Quarry Sites: Review

Stone Reduction Processes And Activity Areas

Control Over Resources

Interpretation Of Quarries

North American Microblade Production Quarries

Santa Cruz Island Quarry Sites


Small Microblade Production Sites

Village Sites


5 Analysis Of The Quarry Site

Quarry Surface And Subsurface Features

Sampling, Surface Collection, And Excavation Procedures

Analysis And Interpretation Of Activity Areas

Regional Survey Results

Summary: Evidence For Specialization At Scri-93 And The Contact Zone

6 Analysis Of The China Harbor Site

Sampling And Excavation Procedures

Nature Of The Site

The China Harbor Survey

The Historic Village Lu'upsh

The Evidence For Specialization

Prisoners Harbor And The Microblade Industry Chronology

The East China Harbor Site: Scri-392

Other Activities At Scri-306

Summary Of Artifact Types At Scri-306

7 Archaeological Correlates For Chumash Specialization

Resource Control And Specialization

The Changing Distribution Of The Microblade Industry

The Microblade-drill Chronology

The Specialization Model Restated

Additional Verification Of Specialization


Volume Of Production

Activity Areas


Decline Of The Industry

Conclusions: Craft Specialization And Complex Society

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Craft specialization in the prehistoric Channel Islands, California

Published By: Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. xvii, 278 p.: ill., maps

By line: by Jeanne E. Arnold

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Late Southern California (NS50)

Subjects: Identification (101); Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Topography and geology (133); Mineral resources (135); Mining and quarrying (316); Lithic industries (324); Commercial facilities (366); General tools (412); Occupational specialization (463);

Abstract: Arnold explores the rise of chert microblade production as a craft specialization on Santa Cruz Island. It was a legitimate craft specialization in that a group of individuals practiced this craft to the exclusion of others, there was a standardized method of production, the group controled access to the quarry sites, and they produced microblades in excess of their own needs. These microblades were used to drill the shell beads the Chumash used as money. These changes in the microblade production also helped lead to the emergence of a simple chiefdom level of organization. At least one village, a manufacturing center for these microblades, was established during this period of change. This craft specialization’s decline following the introduction of European glass beads and metal needles is also discussed. Arnold comes to these conclusions by her own field work on Santa Cruz Island and by analyzing the archaeological collections of others on Santa Cruz Island and on the mainland.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: ns50-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-278)

Field Date: 1981-1985

Evaluation: Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: Sarah Berry ; 1998

Coverage Date: 1150 B.P. - 205 B.P.

Coverage Place: Santa Cruz Island, Calif., United States

LCSH: California -- Antiquities


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