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Navy Has Probably Found the Island of the Blue Dolphins Cave

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Your pre-adolescent dreams have been dashed: some other person has found the supposed cave from Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins. To be fair, you were not quite as dedicated to the cause as Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz, who scoured San Nicolas Island (one of the Channel Islands, controlled by the Navy) for more than 20 years for the cave that "was believed to be home to the island's most famous inhabitant, a Native American woman who survived on the island for 18 years, abandoned and alone," according to the LA Times (O'Dell based his story on her). Last week at the California Islands Symposium, Schwartz said "We're 90% sure this is the Lone Woman's cave," although they'll still need to do more excavation.

There's evidence that people have lived on San Nicolas for more than 8,000 years; the Nicoleño tribe were the main inhabitants until the early 1800s, when their already-small population was decimated by Alaskan sea otter hunters. In 1835, Franciscans from the mainland sent a ship for the last remaining islanders, but one woman was left behind, for 18 years. In 1853, a Santa Barbara rancher and fur trader finally found her (she was about 50 at the time) and eventually took her back to Santa Barbara; she died of dysentery after seven weeks.

Separately, researchers also "stumbled across two redwood boxes" on San Nicolas--they contain blades, harpoon points, bone fishhooks, and other tools, possibly stashed by the Lone Woman.
· 'Island of the Blue Dolphins' woman's cave believed found [LAT]