New artifact finds are being discovered and rescued everyday and this story is an interesting find on a small island off the coast of California.
More than 1,000 years ago a Native American began carving his way into history.
He started with a single stone made from submarine volcanic material. A rare form of lava that differs from the molten rock that flows on the mainland because it is harder and the vesicles, or tiny holes, are smaller making it more brittle.
However, the determined native spent hours and hours picking and grinding to manipulate the material, being careful not to break it. His final product was of a small boat carving, or effigy, used by the California Indians who occupied the California Channels and adjacent Southern California mainland at the time of the Spanish “discovery” in the 1500s.
The Navy discovered this significant prehistoric artifact 90 miles west of San Diego on San Clemente Island (SCI) located mid-island on the surface of a newly discovered archaeological site.
Dr. Andy Yatsko, senior archaeologist and Region Southwest archaeologist for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest in San Diego, has more than 40 years of experience in prehistoric and historic archaeology and finds the boat effigy to be unusual, yet exhilarating.
“Boat effigies like the one found are exceedingly rare in the archaeological record, with this being my first one recovered during my 30 year tenure with SCI,” said Yatsko. “Finding artifact’s on the surface of archaeological sites at the island is not unusual, but a rare one like this is always exciting to come across.”