Programmes > Par auteur > Hodgins Gregory

Paleoindian settlement systems in southern Peru: New chronological and geoarchaeological data from Quebrada Jaguay (QJ-280) and Cuncaicha Rockshelter
Sarah Ann Meinekat  1@  , Christopher Miller  1, 2@  , Gregory Hodgins  3@  , Kurt Rademaker  4@  
1 : Institute for Archaeological Sciences (University of Tübingen)
2 : Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, University of Tübingen
3 : Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of Arizona
4 : Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University

Recent excavations in Peru have shown that Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene sites at the coast and high Andes were connected within larger settlement networks that extended through several vertical ecozones. It is essential to study these sites together —across a vertical transect— in order to understand the routes of settlement and how early Americans rapidly adapted to the extreme conditions of the Andes. A key question in the settlement of the Americas is how forager groups adapted to different ecological settings while maintaining social connections. Quebrada Jaguay (QJ-280) on the Pacific Coast and Cuncaicha Rockshelter in the Andean highlands of southern Peru, with earliest ages dating to the Terminal Pleistocene, exhibit very different subsistence adaptations, yet these sites were linked within a common settlement system. Here, we present the first results of 2017 excavations at QJ-280 and of the geoarchaeological investigations conducted at QJ-280 and Cuncaicha Rockshelter in the last years. One of the main objectives of the excavations was to shed new light on the chronological relationship between these two sites, as well as to improve the chronology of the sites themselves. Furthermore, various structures and anthropogenic features, as well as complex site formation processes, were encountered at the sites during excavation. These were addressed by applying a multi-method geoarchaeological approach, combining micromorphology with pedological and FTIR analyses. These techniques provided insights —invisible to the naked eye— about the sedimentary components, and depositional and post-depositional processes of both sites at a microscale that we could link to the overall site structures. The new chronological data, together with the geoarchaeological approach allowed us (1) to get a better understanding of the influence of natural and human factors in the sites' formation, (2) to link features identified at the sites to paleoenvironmental processes, and (3) to further examine the connection between the coast and the high Andes during the earliest period of human settlement.

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