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Arlington Springs Man, Santa Rosa Island may represent the oldest human bones discovered in North America. He was originally excavated by Phil Orr in the 1950s and stored in the basement of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Recent carbon-dating test results indicate the skeletal remains may be 13,000 years old, potentially the oldest known human skeleton in North America.

In the News~

December 26, 1957 [OPC]: “Ancient Bones Dates Back to 29,650 Years. Scientists working on Santa Rosa Island have found what man be the earliest trace of man in North America. Digging in remains of prehistoric elephants, the scientists have found charred bones, presumably burned in cooking fires set by prehistoric man. Measurements of the rate of radiation from radio active carbon in the bones dates them back 29,650 years ago. The United Press today quoted the National Geographic Society sources as saying the diggings may yield even earlier signs of human life, perhaps 37,000 years old. Such dating would rival the age estimated for traces of ancient man found in Texas last year. Santa Barbaran in charge. Santa Rosa Island is the northernmost of three islands stretching north from Anacapa Island, just off the Ventura County coast. The work there is under the direction of Phil Orr of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The National Geographic Society is co-sponsor. Scientists have been working quietly on the island for the past ten years.The latest expedition has been on the instant of five weeks. Mr. Orr told the Press Courier today the expedition will return to the mainland within a week. Then will come the lengthy process of sifting evidence and providing its meaning. The oldest skeleton ever found on the North American Continent, according to a quick check this morning, is the Tepextan Man, discovered in Mexico in 1947. This dates back more than 10,000 years. Grass sandals found in Danger Cave, near Wendover, Utah about 1950, placed man in the Great Basin at least 9,500 years ago. Folsom Man, discovered near Folsom, New Mexico, in 1925 dates back 10,000 years, but other artifacts in that area are somewhat older. Islands worked for years. A recent find at Zuma Beach south of the Ventura County line, place man in that vicinity 5,000 years ago. Finds on the Channel Islands have for years have attracted archaeologists as among the most interesting on the west coast. Carl St. John Bremner and David Banks Rogers published works in the 1930s on their early expeditions to Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands.Ralph Hoffmann, director of the Santa Barbara Museum, lost his life in a fall on San Miguel during research in the 1930s. Santa Rosa Island is privately owned by the Vail-Vickers Co. of Santa Barbara. A ranch is operated on the island and the Air Force has a radar site there. Migration of early man from Asia are generally believed to have occurred 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, when the sea was lower and a dry land bridge existed from Asian to the Aleutian Islands. The discoveries on Santa Rosa Island and in Texas may change much of the present knowledge of early man and his migrations.”