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The Archaeology and Rock Art of Swordfish Cave (Paperback)

World History > The Americas > USA

Imprint: University of Utah Press
Pages: 224
Illustrations: b/w illus, col pls
ISBN: 9781607814573
Published: 30th April 2016
Casemate UK Academic


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Swordfish Cave is a well-known rock art site located on Vandenberg Air Force Base in south-central California. Named for the swordfish painted on its wall, the cave is a sacred Chumash site. When it was under threat and required measures to conserve it, nearly all of the cave's interior was excavated to create a rock art viewing area. That effort revealed previously unknown rock art and made it possible to closely examine how early occupants used the space inside the cave. Archaeologists identified three periods of human use, including an initial occupation around 3,550 years ago, an occupation about 660 years later, and a final Native American occupation that occurred much later, between A.D. 1787 and 1804. Well illustrated with photographs, maps, and drawings of the rock art, the excavations, and the artifacts revealed therein, the book presents a rare opportunity to directly link archaeology and rock art and to examine the spatial organization of prehistoric human habitation.

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