Potential Paleoindian Quarry Site in Brazil's Lower Amazon

Author(s): Christopher Davis

Year: 2016


A prehistoric Amazonian site near the town of Monte Alegre in the state of Pará, Brazil shows evidence for potential use as a sandstone quarry by paleolindians. The rock art site at Painel do Pilão has a wall, that appears to have been reduced to a flat surface through repeated micro flaking, forming part of a semi subterranean shelter. The flattened wall comprises a platform from which ancient artists painted mostly sky-themed paintings on the open-air stage above. The shelter itself had subsequently accumulated sediment over the course of 13,000 or more years, interring part of the wall and some of its more prominent "quarry" features. Excavation of the shelter floor unearthed large boulders in the lowest levels, and micro flakes in most layers. Crude sandstone lithics and red and yellow ochre-stained stone were also disproportionately recovered from the lowest excavation levels. Evidence for quarrying is implied by the presence of unfinished lithics and also the relative lack of medium-sized nodules. Accelerated mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating from sediment levels covering the lowest quarry marks indicate an age of 11,212 ± 69 to 10,993 ± 62 uncalibrated years BP (13,286 - 12,685 calibrated [Oxcal v4.2.3]).

Cite this Record

Potential Paleoindian Quarry Site in Brazil's Lower Amazon. Christopher Davis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405388)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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