Recent archaeological research on California includes a greater diversity of models and approaches to the region's past, as older literature on the subject struggles to stay relevant. This comprehensive volume offers an in-depth look at the most recent theoretical and empirical developments in the field including key controversies relevant to the Golden State: coastal colonization, impacts of comets and drought cycles, systems of power, Polynesian contacts, and the role of indigeus peoples in the research process, among others. With a specific emphasis on those aspects of California's past that resonate with the state's modern cultural identity, the editors and contributors--all leading figures in California archaeology--seek a new understanding of the myth and mystique of the Golden State.
Terry L. Jones is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Social Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he has taught for the last 13 years. He received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis in 1995 and his MA in Cultural Resources Management from Sonoma State University in 1982. He has worked as a professional archaeologist for 30 years, mostly on the central California coast where he studies hunter-gatherer ecology and maritime adaptations. He has published over 60 articles and book chapters on California prehistory as well as monographs and edited volumes.Jennifer E. Perry worked in CRM in southern California before obtaining her PhD in 2003 in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her professional interests concern human-environment interactions, specifically hunter-gatherer societies in coastal settings. Her research focuses on the Channel Islands, where she maintains a cooperative research agreement with Channel Islands National Park. She has taught at Pomona College since 2002, where she is currently an associate professor of anthropology and environmental analysis.