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Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea OttersIntegrating Archaeology and Ecology in the Northeast Pacific$
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Todd Braje

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267268

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267268.001.0001

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Why Were Northern Fur Seals Spared in Northern California? A Cultural and Archaeological Explanation

Why Were Northern Fur Seals Spared in Northern California? A Cultural and Archaeological Explanation

Chapter:
(p.196) (p.197) 9 Why Were Northern Fur Seals Spared in Northern California? A Cultural and Archaeological Explanation
Source:
Human Impacts on Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters
Author(s):

Adrian R. Whitaker

William R. Hildebrandt

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520267268.003.0009

The biogeography of northern fur seals has been of interest throughout their prehistoric range, which stretched from southern California to the Bering Sea. This chapter traces the history of pinniped hunting in Northern California and examines the record from Stone Lagoon. It analyzes the evidence for continuous hunting of large sea lions up to European contact and offers an explanation for the continued hunting of otariids in northern California despite the fact that some of these pinnipeds were no longer hunted in central California and parts of Oregon. The culture history of northwestern California is broken into three general periods: the Borax Pattern (7000–3500 cal BP), the Mendocino Pattern (3500–1500 cal BP), and the Gunther Pattern (1500–150 cal BP). With the exception of one site dating to the Borax Lake Period, all coastal sites in the northwestern portion of the state date to either the Mendocino or Gunther Patterns. This chapter examines these two patterns in order to establish the timing of the initial hunting of sea lions in the region.

Keywords:   Northern California, biogeography, northern fur seals, hunting, Stone Lagoon, pinnipeds, otariids, sea lions, Mendocino Pattern, Gunther Pattern

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