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Sat Aug 16, 2014, 08:45 PM

On Santa Cruz Island, rising seas present archaeological emergency

On Santa Cruz Island, rising seas present archaeological emergency
By Louis Sahagun contact the reporter
August 16, 2014, 2:00 PM|SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif.

Archaeologist Torben Rick watched with frustration as pounding surf clawed at one of North America's oldest homesteads, a massive heap of village foundations, cutting tools, beads and kitchen discards left behind over the last 13,000 years..

Here, seafaring tribal members cast fishing nets from canoes made of redwood planks, prepared dinners on stone griddles, and painstakingly chipped out tiny shell beads prized as currency.

But unless something is done, this rich trove of Native American history and several others on the island will almost certainly be destroyed by rising seas and strong storm surges along beaches that will soon no longer exist.

Rick, curator of anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, picked up a tiny pink bead.

"Things like this are golden because they can help us better understand the people who lived here and how they dealt with some of the same unstoppable forces we face today," he said. "The trouble is, a few more storms and all this valuable history will be washed out to sea."

More:
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-island-survey-20140817-story.html
More:
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-island-survey-20140817-story.html

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