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Seventy Years of Archaeological Research on California’s Farallon Islands
California Archaeology  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-07-03, DOI: 10.1080/1947461x.2019.1652043
Torben Rick, Todd Braje, Thomas Wake, Gabriel Sanchez, Robert DeLong, Kent Lightfoot

ABSTRACT The Farallon Islands are a cluster of small islands ∼32 km off the coast of San Francisco Bay. These islands total < 1 km2 in area and lack surface freshwater, but are home to scores of breeding seabirds and seals and sea lions. At least three archaeological projects have been conducted on Southeast Farallon, focusing on the islands’ two known archaeological sites (CA-SFR-1 and CA-SFR-24), both primarily related to an early nineteenth century Russian fur trade hunting camp with no evidence of prehistoric human occupation. Little has been published on these expeditions despite their implications for understanding colonialism and culture contact, historical ecology, and the history of San Francisco. We synthesize the history of archaeological research on the Farallon Islands. We discuss the artifacts and faunal remains recovered from these projects, the state of the collections, and how these data articulate with broader California archaeology and the archaeology of small islands.