Skip to page content

A Journey to a New Land

Boat and Bear
Post secondary Level Resources

Daisy Cave

The Daisy Cave archaeological site is located on San Miguel Island, off the coast of California. Archaeological remains dating back to 10,500 years BP have been found in the cave, covering at least five separate human occupations.

Daisy Cave is an important site because it provides good evidence for the use of boats along the Pacific coast by 10,500 years ago. San Miguel Island lies some 40 km off the coast of California, and has been separated from the mainland for hundreds of thousands of years. In order for people to have occupied the cave 10,500 years BP, they must have used some form of watercraft to reach the island.

The earliest evidence of woven technology on the Pacific Coast was found at Daisy Cave, in the form of basketry and cordage dating to between 8,500 and 10,000 years BP. Daisy Cave can also claim the distinction of being the earliest coastal shell midden in North America.

The numerous plant and animal remains recovered from the site have assisted researchers to reconstruct the paleoenvironment of San Miguel Island.

Further Reading:

Erlandson, J. M., D. J. Kennett, L. Ingram, D. A. Guthrie, D. P. Morris, M. A. Tveskov, G. J. West and P. L. Walker
1996 An Archaeological and Paleontological Chronology for Daisy Cave (CA-SMI-261), San Miguel Island, California. Radiocarbon 38(2):355-373.