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The Late Archaic and Initial Ceramic Age in Coastal French Guiana

Author(s): Martijn Van Den Bel

Year: 2016

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Recent excavations at two archaeological sites in French Guiana (Eva 2 and Saint-Louis) presented evidence of a Late Archaic an Early Ceramic Age occupation which is comparable to other coastal sites in South America, such as the Alaka Phase in Guyana and the Mina Tradition in Pará, Brazil. These early ceramic sites represent the suite of a larger Archaic Age Littoral Tradition in which ceramics represented an innovative aspect to the Archaic way of life. Starch grain analysis showed that maize, sweet potatoes, arrowroot, and jack beans, were consumed among the Early Ceramic Age population of French Guiana who made use of polished tools, earth ovens, and large and spherical cooking pots in order to prepare food during the second half of the third millennium BC. The results of these large scale excavations add new data to this almost unknown but innovative episode in northern Amazonia, i.e. the shift from the Preceramic to the Ceramic Age or Formative Period.

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The Late Archaic and Initial Ceramic Age in Coastal French Guiana. Martijn Van Den Bel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403659)


Geographic Keywords
South America

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