Baja California, stretching 800 miles south into the Pacific Ocean from the California-Mexico border, has been called the ""forgotten peninsula,"" a remote frontier whose natural wonders and history have remained largely unexplored. One of the world's longest peninsulas, Baja California harbors astonishing evidence of the hunting and gathering peoples who once lived here, yet the region has been little studied, and not much has been published about its archaeology and prehistory. This volume brings together recognized U.S. and Mexican scholars who have been actively engaged in primary research on the peninsula during the last two decades. It is the first comprehensive book-length study to describe and document new insights into an ancient past. Because of its relative isolation, the richness of its early historical record, and the comparatively pristine character of many parts of the peninsula, Baja California's prehistory is of particular interest to archaeologists and anthropologists. Beginning with topical essays on the emerging evidence from paleoenvironmental studies, linguistics, early historical documents, and twentieth-century ethnographic studies, followed by chapters on the prehistory of seven of the peninsula's best studied regions, the authors also discuss potential directions for future research and the problem of protecting and preserving the physical traces of the prehistoric past.
Don Laylander is a senior archaeologist with ASM Affiliates, Inc., a cultural resource management organization in southern California. He has published many articles on Alta and Baja California's archaeology, ethnology, and linguistic prehistory. Jerry Moore is professor of anthropology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is the author of Cultural Landscapes in the Ancient Andes: Archaeologies of Place (UPF), among other books and articles on the archaeology of the Americas.