Arlington Springs Man

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Arlington Springs
34, -120
Date min:
13,000 Bp
Date max:
13,000 Bp
Time periods:
Tarantian, Pleistocene

The Arlington Springs man is a set of Late Pleistocene human remains discovered in 1959 on Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands located off the coast of Southern California. The Arlington Springs archeological site is protected within northern Channel Islands National Park, and in Santa Barbara County.

In 1959–1960, two femora were excavated by Phil C. Orr, curator of anthropology and paleontology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, at Arlington Springs on Santa Rosa Island. 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 in 1989 by Orr's successors at the museum, Dr. John R. Johnson and Don Morris. The two 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 BP, making the remains potentially the oldest-known human skeleton in North America. The term "Arlington Springs Woman" was used then to refer to these remains.

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