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Geoarchaeological approaches: Assessing the formation and preservation of a Late Pleistocene Drowned terrestrial site on the Pacific coast of South America (Chile)

Author(s): Isabel Cartajena ; Cristina Ortega ; Valentina Flores ; Renato Simonetti ; Diego Carabias

Year: 2015

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Summary

GNL Quintero 1 (GNLQ1) is a Late Pleistocene paleontological submerged site located in Quintero Bay (32º46’S), ~50 km north of Valparaíso, on the Pacific coast of Central Chile. We describe the geoarchaeological approach applied by combining geomorphological, bathymetrical, sedimentological and paleontological data with a digital simulation model. The resulting evidence indicates that the unit containing the extinct bone assemblage (Unit 2) was deposited in a low-energy fluvial sedimentary environment, possibly a shallow floodplain where wetlands were formed in a semiarid climate. This Unit is interbedded between two coastal units related to a marine regression-transgression cycle. The underlying marine layer is much older than GNLQ1 site, while the overlaying layer corresponds to a postglacial transgressive unit. Digital simulation modelling considering regional uplift rates information suggests that a significant part of Quintero Bay was exposed and GNLQ1 site would have been located a few kilometres inland from the paleo-shoreline. The characteristics of the depositional environment and the geomorphological context favored the formation and survival of an extremely well preserved faunal assemblage. GNLQ1 provides the first unambiguous evidence for the Pacific coast of South America that this record can survive in situ and be located trough underwater investigation.

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Geoarchaeological approaches: Assessing the formation and preservation of a Late Pleistocene Drowned terrestrial site on the Pacific coast of South America (Chile). Isabel Cartajena, Valentina Flores, Cristina Ortega, Diego Carabias, Renato Simonetti. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397155)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America