Yuzanu 50, An Early Paleoindian Site in the Mixteca Alta

Author(s): Jon Lohse; Aleksander Borejsza; Arthur Joyce

Year: 2018


Yuzanu 50 was discovered during a reconnaissance of the headwaters of the Yuzanu River as a scatter of debitage eroding from a barranca cutbank, from a palaeosol formed under wet meadows that lined the stream from the Terminal Pleistocene into the Holocene. Excavations exposed 15m2 of an occupation surface buried 13.5m below modern ground surface. An excavated assemblage consisting almost exclusively of biface reduction debris made of materials that crop out further upstream indicates that this was a short-term occupation with retooling as a primary activity. A broken preform and characteristics of the flaking debris provide indications of reduction strategies. Two informal flake tools and a pair of non-diagnostic bifaces reflect generalized activities. There are few bones, but a long bone diaphysis from a deer-sized animal has cut marks. Radiocarbon dating suggests an age of around 12,750 cal BP. While not extensive, Yuz 50 is among the most securely dated early sites in southern Mexico, and indicates that Pleistocene foragers inhabited high altitude environments, were familiar with local lithic outcrops, and probably used barranca floodplains in their subsistence activities. The large number of megafaunal bones in the same palaeosol complex raises the possibility that these included hunting large prey.

Cite this Record

Yuzanu 50, An Early Paleoindian Site in the Mixteca Alta. Jon Lohse, Aleksander Borejsza, Arthur Joyce. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444123)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -98.679; min lat: 15.496 ; max long: -94.724; max lat: 18.271 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20095