What the current drought can tell us about prehistoric water scarcity on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands

JAQUA Allison University of California, Santa Barbara

Periods of drought have punctuated Southern California since before the region was inhabited. Debates on whether the Chumash adapted to their environment or were forced to make extreme socio-political change do not typically take potable water into detailed account. This poster compares data during the current drought on available water with the archaeological evidence for shifting settlement patterns, declining health and increased interpersonal violence during the Medieval Climatic Anomaly (AD 800-1350) on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.