CALIFORNIA BONES MAY COMPLICATE THEORY ON SETTLEMENT OF AMERICAS 04/12/99 Bones of a woman found on California's Channel Islands may be among the oldest human remains found so far in North America, and could support theories that the first Americans came by sea rather than over a land bridge. The bones of the so-called Arlington Springs woman are probably 13,000 years old, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. That would make her slightly older than the oldest known human skeletons in North America, which were found in Montana, Idaho and Texas. ``Bottom line is she may be the earliest inhabitant of North America we have discovered. It's a find of national significance,'' said John R. Johnson, curator of anthropology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which is part of a team researching the woman's bones. However, results of the team's investigation have not yet been submitted to peers for critical review and have not been published in scientific journals. The work was described in a paper presented March 30 at the Fifth California Islands Symposium at the museum. The traditional theory has been the first humans in North America came from northern Asia during the Ice Age, crossing a bridge of exposed land to Alaska and then spreading across country between glaciers. The location and apparent age of the Channel Islands discovery suggests at least some of the first settlers could have come to North America by boat and spread along the coast, instead of inland, researchers contend. The remains _ two thigh bones _ were discovered at Arlington Canyon on Santa Rosa Island 40 years ago and kept at the Santa Barbara museum. Recently, researchers at the museum and Channel Islands National Park conducted DNA and radiocarbon tests unavailable when the bones were found. The tests were performed by Stafford Research Laboratories in Boulder, Colo., one of the nation's pre-eminent carbon-dating labs. Scientists performed two sets of tests, one producing an estimate the bones are 11,000 years old and a second giving an age of about 13,000 years, the Times said. Although environmental history is quite new, the interdisciplinary nature of the field draws scholars from areas as diverse as historical geography, landscape architecture, urban planning, archaeology, anthropology, agricultural studies, sociology, and ecology. For years, one special focus of the field has been the history of the American West. The interplay of people and the natural landscape has always been a hot topic in Tucson, where the city sprawls outward to invade a setting of great natural beauty. And this weekend Tucson will be the site of a gathering of roughly 400 scholars from across the United States and from 14 other countries will travel to southern Arizona for the 1999 biennial conference of the American Society of Environmental Historians. Native Americans, like anybody doing business with our notoriously sloppy bureaucrats, have long suspected those books and records are not accurate. The amount is not small -- according to The Economist magazine, some $350 million to $500 million a year flows through some 11 million separate accounts. Clinton should make one more executive decision. He should order secretaries Babbitt and Rubin to figure out what the government owes the Native Americans and set a timetable for paying the money back. Americans have stronger belief in the Bible's creation story than do citizens of other industrialized nations, according to a University of Cincinnati public opinion researcher. At issue is the foundation of the adobe where the treaty ending the Mexican-American War in California was signed. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation plans to pave over a portion of the foundation of the historic adobe. He was born about 1783 in San Timoteo Canyon in what is now Riverside County. Antonio's early years are a mystery. But, as a young man, he emerged as a powerful leader of the Mountain Cahuilla bands. Old and weary, deserted by most of his panic-stricken tribe, Juan Antonio, 80, staggered out of his hovel to die alone during the smallpox epidemic of 1862-1863. Almost a century later, workers uncovered the graves of Antonio and 12 of his men about a mile from another mass burial, the one containing the remains of Irving and his band of outlaws. Antonio, the workers discovered, had been buried with his cavalry belt and buckle, Indian beads and an 1854 quarter.,1249,75003598,00.html? William B. and Donna T. Smart will address the topic "Over the Rim: The Southern Utah Exploring Expedition of 1849-50."