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Thread: The Oldest Ghost Town

  1. #1
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    Default The Oldest Ghost Town

    The oldest dated human remains in the New World is a bone from Santa Rosa Island in Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Southern California. This bone is from the mouth of Arlington Canyon and was found by Phil Orr in about 1960 or 1961 but was only sent out for dating about ten years ago by John Johnson, the currator of the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. The bone was from a man who died about 13,000 years ago.
    For the last two weeks the museum conducted a dig at the site to uncover any new material related to the bone. I was along to be the camping director. In other words, I set up the showers, tents, kitchen, and kept everything from blowing away in the daily fifteen to thirty-mile-an-hour northwest winds off the channel. The following pictures tell the story of the oldest New World ghost town, such that it is.
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    Some of our gear stacked in the wrong spot according to the sign. We had to move it later.
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    Approaching the island. After unloading the boat we had an hour and fifteen minute ride to the site on the northern shore of the island.
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    The camping site on the bluff above the dig site.
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    The mouth of Arlington Canyon.
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    The campsite.
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  2. #2
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    Default More photos

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    Looking down the bluff at the site.
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    The initial digging.
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    The archeologists preparing the face of the dig to expose the layers.
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    Further west is the mouth of Tecolote Canyon where we went for a hike.
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    Finding another type of bone.
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  3. #3
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    Default More photos

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    Pigmy Mammoth molar.
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    Killdeer eggs.
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    Mammoth tusk cross section in the canyon wall.
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    The mouth of Arlington Canyon when I went for a hike by myself later.
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    The beach had a lot of stuff on it.
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  4. #4
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    Default More photos

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    Just a typical day at the beach. lots of stuff to look at and think about.
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  5. #5
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    Default Even more photos

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    Skunk tracks.
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    Peregrine Falcon.
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    Her nest area which is why she was yelling at me.
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    Some Pygmy Mammoth bones which is why I was over by the nest area.
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    A closer look.
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  6. #6
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    Default More pictures.

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    The water buffalo and screening gear
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    An archeologist in the pit.
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    More screening down at the creek.
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    Heading back to the mainland.

    So, what did they find? Flakes of chert. There were small chert flakes in the same layer as the 13,000 year-old date and the supposition is that these were made by humans in the tool making process. Other than that the two weeks were pretty interesting. Our campsite was on a Chumash village site from around seven thousand years ago and there were olive shell beads, bead drills, a skull from an indian domesticated dog, chert flakes and scrapers, a part of a pestle, and many other things. So before there were ghost towns as we know them there were the ghost villages of humans extending back to at least thirteen thousand years ago. NJ
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  7. #7
    Joel's Avatar
    Joel is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Quite an adventure there! Love the old history lesson. Did the people have a name?

    Pigmy Mammoths? How tall did they get? So many questions, so little time.
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

  8. #8
    Vulture's Avatar
    Vulture is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Pigmy Mammoth is obviously the evolutionary ancestor of the Jumbo Shrimp.
    Sounds like a Seinfeld bit...

    This covers what is easily the oldest site I've seen posted here. Thanks for the history lesson & great pics.

    Ahhh the sweet essence of ripe sea lion.

    <
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

  9. #9
    campp's Avatar
    campp is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Very interesting. Nice job to have, Campsite Director.

  10. #10
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Wow, cool!

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