New Discoveries from the Island of the Blue Dolphins
An illustrated lecture by Steven Schwartz and Lisa Thomas-Barnett.
When: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fleischmann Auditorium, S.B. Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol Rd., Santa Barbara
Age limit: Not available
The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island was found in a brush enclosure, but she is believed to have lived in a cave during most of her 18 years of isolation. Although there is no known habitation cave on the island, the search for this cave has continued for over 20 years. Recently, detailed field notes from the 1879 U.S. Coast Survey were obtained which lead to the discovery of the cave thought to have been occupied by the Lone Woman. Removal of the sand filling the opening revealed a large cave which would have made a very comfortable home. No evidence of painting or engraving was found on the walls calling to question early accounts that she kept track of events in her life by recording them on the walls of the cave. Found instead, were two sets of engraved initials with the date of September 11, 1911. The cave holds the potential to answer many questions the Lone Woman's life of isolation.
Also, during the winter of 2010 a truly extraordinary find was made. Two redwood boxes were spotted eroding out of a cliff face near CA-SNI-14. The boxes and several items outside of the boxes were removed over the next two days. Laboratory excavation of the boxes revealed a total of 18 artifacts from the East box, 157 from the West box. The remarkable find contains items of
local Nicoleño manufacture including unique items, Aleutian artifacts such as toggle harpoon points, and historic items such as bottle glass bifaces and a button. Given the juxtaposition of these three types of artifacts, the boxes must date to a very narrow time between the first historic contact in 1814, and before the Lone Woman was removed to the mainland in 1853.
Event posted Jan. 25, 2013
Last updated Jan. 25, 2013