Generous funding from Museum benefactor Scott Newhall allowed considerable progress to be made in describing and analyzing sediment cores excavated at Arlington Springs, Santa Rosa Island. Dr. John Johnson presented a summary of the research conducted to date at the American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly in Acapulco, Mexico, emphasizing the thorough radiocarbon dating of the sediments and discovery of chipping debitage in the 13,000 year-old soil at the site. e National Geographic Society funded additional excavations at the site, planned for June 2008.
Dr. Johnson also completed three studies for publication pertaining to Alta California’s colonial period: (a) mtDNA analysis of descendants of the original Spanish-Mexican settlers, (b) historical archaeology of Spanish and Mexican colonization for Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia, and (c) a case study of changing ethnic identity in a family descended from Toypurina, a famous Gabrielino Indian woman who married a Spanish soldier.
Jan Timbrook, Curator of Ethnography, published Chumash Ethnobotany: Plant Knowledge Among the Chumash People of Southern California in August 2007, culminating 30 years of research. e book describes the ways in which Chumash people have used some 150 species of plants for food, medicine, raw materials for making clothing, tools and utensils, religious paraphernalia, and other items essential to existence. It also delves into how the Chumash thought about plants and were affected by them, leading toward greater understanding of the complex interrelationships between the first people of our region and the environment in which they lived.
dr. G. James West, anthropology research associate, excavated a column sample on santa cruz island during a Museum field expedition.