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November 2 2012

'Island of the Blue Dolphins' woman's cave believed found


The yellowing government survey map of San Nicolas Island dated from 1879, but it was quite clear: There was a big black dot on the southwest coast and, next to it, the words "Indian Cave."

For more than 20 years, Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz searched for that cave. It 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, and became the inspiration for "Island of the Blue Dolphins," one of the 20th century's most popular novels for young readers.

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