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Paleo-Indian South America

(Pre) Paleo-Indian
o Time Period
Begins with first occupation of whatever it is that they did
Ends in 6500BC (or 8500BP), not exactly though, slow transition out
o Lifestyle
Hunter/Gatherers
Hunted Extinct Mega-Fauna
o Bison
o Horse
o Mammoths
o Mastodons
Why extinct?
o People hunted them to death, the climate change (warmer) allowed
for people to move north
No domesticated plants/agriculture
Not Sedentary on year-round basis (mobile)
o Best site earlier than 10,000BC (still subject to dispute)
Monte Verde in Chile by a man named Tom Dillehay
Stratigraphic Profile a cross-section of the dirt/land
Wooden tent posts decay and change the color of the dirt that they found
They think they found a Shamans house (Indian doctor drug dealer, healer)
Piece of wood in vice.. who gives a shit
Biface stones, Bolo stones, flakes, stone projectile (spear) points
Mountain Adaptations
o People began as tropical animals in the hot climate of Africa
o Evolution due to cold mountainous climates:
Cultural (fire, clothes, jackets, etc.)
Biological (adaptation to thin air, low oxygen)
Hypoxia
o 60 generations to adapt
o Low birth rates
o Requires more calories
Andes People
o Compact bodies
o Large lung capacity
o Large chest cavities
Implications?
o Reason for early domestication of plants and animals (to increase
food source)
o Plays a role in separating highland from coastal groups
o Plays a role in large expansions by highland people rather than vice
versa (lowland people cant breathe well enough to conquer
highland peoples)


8500-6500BC
o Regional differentiation and sedentary adaptation across South America
o Coastal with increasing reliance on marine resources
o Interior with beginnings of domestication of plants and animals
The Asana Site (Northern Chile along Osmore or Moquegua River
o 7800BC 7500BC:
People move to Asana from coast
Reside at Asana seasonally
Hunt camelids for hides
o 7400BC 5800BC:
People move in from highlands
Use of coast ends
Reside at Asana seasonally
Hunt camelids and deer for hides and meat
o *Basic point here is that people are becoming less mobile and the territory in which they
move is becoming smaller and smaller, so without moving people have to adapt to live
sedentarily