Pre-Columbian Introduction of Legume Trees Prosopis Algarobia Section and Geoffroea decorticans into the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile during the Late Holocene
Our recent research in the Atacama Desert (18-27°S) proposed that Prosopis trees, Algarobia section (Algarrobo) were introduced during the late Holocene by humans and dispersed through cultural and natural factors. At least 41 direct AMS on seeds and pods retrieved from archaeobotanical and paleoecological contexts (rodent middens and leaf litter deposits) show that the earliest presence occurred ~4200 cal BP but most dates fall over a thousand years later, during and after the Formative period. This hypothesis is further supported by the available biogeographic and phylogenetic data for this genus in the Americas. Another cultural valued tree Geoffroea decorticans (Fabaceae-Mimosoideae), may have also been introduced into the Atacama. Here we present a review of the taxonomy and biogeography of this genus, as well the preliminary results of AMS dating on paleoecological and archaeobotanical remains associated to Archaic occupations, giving a mean age of ~500 cal BP. Ongoing studies aim to generate a large dataset of AMS dates and phylogenetical analyses across the region to gain a better understanding of the status of these trees. Moreover, a comprehensive approach of their cultural management is mandatory to assess the pre-Columbian and ecological history of this arid landscape.
Cite this Record
Pre-Columbian Introduction of Legume Trees Prosopis Algarobia Section and Geoffroea decorticans into the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile during the Late Holocene. Virginia Mcrostie, Eugenia M. Gayo, Claudio Latorre, Calogero Santoro, Ricardo De Pol-Holz. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443177)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22168