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Spindrift Archaeological Site – San Diego’s Ancient Past

News | 11th Oct 2012

La Jolla Complex is an archaeological site that is spread over several regions: Millingstone Horizon, Shell Midden People and Encinitas Tradition. It is believed that a certain culture lived in the area during the middle Holocene. What is more, the main features that characterize La Jolla include various types of handstones, millingstones, flexed burials and stone-edge tools. Also in these areas were found bones from fishes and sea mammals. Although their number is not big, these are still evidence of their existence.

La Jolla Complex was initially known as the Shell Midden People, name received by Malcolm J. Rogers, a pioneering archaeologist from the area. He managed to distinguish several phases for this complex. However, it was renamed a short time afterwards by Claude Warren, as Encinitas Tradition, which was extended in the North, until the Santa Barbara Region. Also, the Pauma Complex is part of La Jolla Complex.

In addition, the area where is currently situated San Diego, and which is also an archaeological site with so many discoveries, used to be lived by the Paleo-Indians or Paleoamericans. This is a classification that includes the first people who have ever entered and inhabited the American continents during the end of the late Pleistocene period. The term applies strictly to the lithic period and it is different from the term Paleolithic.

Moving on, there are various evidences that suggest there was a group of hunters who was coming from Asia, or Eurasia at that time, and arrived to North America. They migrated with the large herds of herbivores into Alaska. About 15,000 years ago, along the coast of the Pacific and in the valleys of North America were formed ice-free corridors. This enabled the people to follow the groups of animals and move to south. They were moving on foot and used very primitive types of boots to protect themselves.

Likewise, there have been found different tools made out of stones, as well as scrapers and projectile points that are basic evidences of human existence in America. Archaeologists and anthropologists make use of crafted lithic flaked devices to classify found objects after certain periods of time. It has been shown, that once the population reached a more stabilized climate, its number started to rise quickly and it started to have a more sedentary living.

Furthermore, the migration of the Paleo-Indians to America presents certain specifics that include different dates, former travelling routes, many clues on the lifestyle, facts that are a constant subject for research and discussions. The main theory is that the first migrants moved in the Beringia land bridge, a zone between Siberia and Alaska, where the sea level was lower because of the glaciations.

Finally, Paleo-Indians are separated into categories, classified by lithic core or lithic reduction, as well as by their regional adaptation. Also, it was studied their migration process and the way they followed groups of animals around. Usually, they would go around after mammoths, bison or mastodons; therefore, they were named “big-game hunters”. However, they were primary fishing in order to be able to eat and move on with their lifestyle.

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