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Human Responses to Holocene Aridization South of the Atacama Desert (31° to 32° S), the Meaning of Differences in Landscape Use

Author(s): César Méndez ; Antonio Maldonado ; Andrés Troncoso ; Amalia Nuevo Delaunay ; Sebastían Grasset

Year: 2017

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The geographical band between 31°-32° S, from the Pacific to the Andes, lies in the southernmost part of the Semi-Arid North of Chile, south of the Atacama Desert. Multidisciplinary research to the north and south of the Choapa River’s mouth is uneven, thereby in need of new data for understanding the relative intensity of the human traces across the landscape and the human interactions with environmental changes. Currently, the combined pollen records in the coast and highlands indicate arid phases between 7,800-6,200 and 3,500-2,200 cal BP. Though the archaeological radiocarbon record spans the Holocene, changes in its distribution across the landscape coincide with these time intervals and with other minor changes. The few excavations in rockshelters north of the Choapa River’s mouth have yielded dates on features and bioarchaeological material precisely within specific time gaps of the nearly-continuous record south of this area, built on coastal shell-middens and inland open-air sites. These preliminary collations posit sampling biases versus climate change as alternative mechanisms influencing the past human spatial distributions. Assessing human responses to environmental change in the margins of the desert should prove useful for the broader understanding of landscape use and its variation throughout the Holocene. FONDECYT #1170408; #1140837.

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Human Responses to Holocene Aridization South of the Atacama Desert (31° to 32° S), the Meaning of Differences in Landscape Use. César Méndez, Antonio Maldonado, Andrés Troncoso, Amalia Nuevo Delaunay, Sebastían Grasset. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431019)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15106

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