Page 102 - Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Winter/Spring 2013/14

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story and contemporary photographs
by Lynn P. Kirst
Santa Rosa Island
part two: The Modern Era
n Part I of this article about Santa Rosa Island (Vol. 5/2 Winter Spring 2012/13), we met the earliest inhabitants of this ocean-bound landmark that can be
seen from many parts of Montecito. Those inhabitants included both man and beast, and the enduring celebrities of the island’s early occupation remain
one of each.
“Rosie,” the world’s only example of a full size, intact skeleton of a species known as the Channel Islands Pygmy Mammoth (
Mammuthus exilis)
, and the first
to be accurately dated to nearly 13,000 years, now resides at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She is joined there by a near-contemporary, “Arlington
Springs Man.” This gentleman is responsible for upending the long-held Clovis First Theory, which maintained that North America was populated by big game
hunters who crossed the Beringia land bridge over the Bering Sea to Alaska, pursuing mega-fauna prey to the center of the continent before fanning outward toward
the coasts. Continuing research and a growing body of archeological and genetic evidence has proved the Coastal Migration Theory, also known as the Pacific Coast
Migration Model, a more likely scenario. This newer and now widely accepted belief is that the continent was colonized by early hunter-gatherers traveling from
Asia, who did a large part of their hunting and gathering from sea-worthy boats as they moved south along the Pacific coast, reaping a ready supply of fish and other
spr ing