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Chumash fish hook?

Hello, 

I found this fish hook and petrified fish at Hendry's Beach

Is the fish hook Chumash ?

Silvia, Santa Barbara CA - June 11, 2022

Curator Response

Hi Silvia,

The fossil is certainly a scallop (member of the family Pectinidae), but we can’t see details that would allow us to narrow down the identification at all, and since we can’t tell what rock formation it came from, we can’t infer much about its age.

Given the location, the hook may be a Chumash fishhook. You can click here and scroll down to see eight Chumash fishhooks on this page we created for students.

As Brian has explained in other responses, it’s important to leave artifacts—and fossils—in place where you find them. One of the many reasons for this is that we can all learn more about an object’s history and cultural value when it remains in its context. We love to see photos of cool objects in place.

Stay curious,

Curator Emeritus of Malacology Paul Valentich-Scott and Associate Curator of Anthropology Brian Barbier, M.A.