Arlington Springs Man

Arlington Springs Man is the name given a set of human remains discovered on an island off the coast of California. In 1959-1960, two femora were excavated by Phil C. Orr, curator of anthropology and natural history at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, at Arlington Springs on Santa Rosa Island, California. Orr believed the remains were those of a 10,000-year old man and dubbed them the "Arlington Springs Man".

The Arlington Springs Man was later re-examined by Orr's successor at the museum, John R. Johnson. Johnson came to the initial assessment that the Arlington Springs Man was actually the "Arlington Springs Woman". Radiocarbon dating determined that the remains dated to 13,000 years B.P., making the remains potentially the oldest-known human skeleton in North America. The term "Arlington Springs Woman" was used at that time to refer to these remains.

After further study, Johnson reversed his assessment in 2006, concluding that the remains were more likely those of a man, and the name "Arlington Springs Man" was again the more appropriate name.

The Arlington Springs Man lived on Santa Rosae at the end of the Pleistocene. His presence on an island at such an early date demonstrates that the earliest Paleoindians had watercraft capable of crossing the Santa Barbara Channel, and lends credence as well to a "coastal migration" theory for the peopling of the Americas.


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