A Canyon through Time
Archaeology, History, and Ecology of the Tecolote Canyon Area, Santa Barbara County, California
Jon M. Erlandson, Torben C. Rick, and René L. Vellanoweth
Anthropology of Pacific North America Series
Anthropology / Archaeology
Long a refuge for bootleggers and hobos, Tecolote Canyon was engulfed by an industrialized oil boom for twenty years beginning in the 1930s, and endured the only Japanese attack on the contiguous U.S. during World War II. In the postindustrial era, the lower canyon was a haven for surfers, nudists, and gravediggers before being transformed into a five-star resort in the 1990s. But this beautiful area of California’s Santa Barbara coast has been occupied by humans for at least 9000 years.
Known by the Chumash Indians as Hel’apunitse (guitar fish), the canyon was a major nexus of Chumash village life from about 2000 to 500 years ago. After the arrival of Europeans, the canyon passed from Chumash hands through successive Spanish, Mexican, and American administrations.
In A Canyon through Time, the authors summarize the deep history of this beautiful canyon, which serves as a fascinating history in microcosm of the California coastal region. Using data from archaeology, ecology, geology, geography, and history, they weave an interdisciplinary tale of the natural and human prehistory and history of the Tecolote Canyon area.
Jon M. Erlandson is professor of anthropology and director of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology at the University of Oregon.
Torben C. Rick is assistant professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University.
René L. Vellanoweth is associate professor of anthropology at Humboldt State University.
Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
1. A Canyon through Time: An Introduction
2. A Landscape History for the Tecolote Canyon Area
3. The First Californians
4. Early Settlement: 10,000 to 7,000 Years Ago
5. The Middle Holocene: 7,000 to 3,500 Years Ago
6. The Chumash at Hel'apunitse
7. History and Historical Archaeology
8. Power, Place, and History—Tecolote Canyon through Time
Appendix: Additional Figures and Tables
Praise and Reviews:
"I can’t think of any books that have attempted to synthesize at this level of detail the entire human prehistory and history of a particular canyon! It represents a unique and inspiring model of cooperation between archaeologists, native peoples, and developers."
—Jack Broughton, University of Utah
"The elegance of this book is in the logic and clarity of its organization, language, and objectives. Not only does this book emphasize the relevance of the archaeological record of the Santa Barbara Channel with respect to understanding complex hunter-gatherer societies, but, just as important, its authors convey some of the reasons why people love this dynamic landscape and what it has meant to them through time."
—Journal of Anthropological Research
"The authors beautifully convey the vitality of one special place, Tecote Canyon, which provides the reader with a long-term approach to understanding the connection between a place and its people."