Reviewed by Ramond Starr, San Diego State University
A Step into the Past: Island Dwellers of Southern California.
By Jimmy Smull, Theo Cox, Andy Yatsko, Clement Meighan, Roy Salls, Charles Rozaire, and Constance Cameron. Fullerton: California State University, Fullerton, Department of Anthropology, 1989. Illustrations. Maps. 40 pages.
This little volume was prepared as the catalog for an exhibit in the Department of Anthropology’s museum at California State University, Fullerton, which was open for most of 1989. The exhibit was designed to focus on the native populations of San Clemente Island. Although occupied today by the United States Navy, there has been extensive archaeological excavation on the island for a long time, so there is considerable information and material to draw from for such an exhibit. In this published catalog, which can stand on its own, the reader will find brief descriptive essays on the geology of the Channel Islands; notes on the history of archaeological excavation there; and pieces on shelter, canoes, food, artifacts, ceremonies, effigies, trade and European contact. The booklet is well illustrated with photographs and drawings, and contains a good list of suggested readings. For those who could not view the exhibit, A Step into the Past gives a good overview of a significant topic in Southern California’s history and pre-history. to the serious study of San Diego.