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Missing the point: re-evaluating the earliest lithic technology in the Middle Orinoco

Riris, P; Oliver, JR; Lozada Mendieta, N; (2018) Missing the point: re-evaluating the earliest lithic technology in the Middle Orinoco. Royal Society Open Science , 5 , Article 180690. 10.1098/rsos.180690. Green open access

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Abstract

The Culebra site, located in close proximity to the Atures Rapids, is one of the very few open-air occupations in the entire Orinoco valley that is thought to date to the early Holocene. Following renewed excavations in this location, we characterize the stone technology in unprecedented detail and perform both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the assemblage deposited in the first cultural layers. Additionally, we directly date the sediment forming the depositional context of the assemblage using stratigraphically stable components of soil organic matter. Coupled with our stratigraphic and paedological data, the deposit is, contrary to established estimates, shown to date to the late Holocene, well after the appearance of ceramics in the region. The toolkit identified through the lithic analysis, therefore, does not reflect an Archaic hunter–gatherer adaptation as previously assumed. Our findings are placed in the context of previous research in the Orinoco and lowland South America more broadly. More work is needed to understand the changing role of different stone tool reduction sequences with reference to adaptational strategies and bioclimatic variability.

Type: Article
Title: Missing the point: re-evaluating the earliest lithic technology in the Middle Orinoco
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180690
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180690
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051001
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