Paleoindian Sites from Central Mexico: Paleoenvironment and Dating


During the last 20 years we have studied systematically several important Paleoindian sites from Central Mexico doing detailed stratigraphic studies, paleoenvironmental reconstructions (pollen, diatoms, tephra studies) and radiocarbon dating. The sites include: Peñon Woman III skeleton, Santa Isabel Iztapan Mammoths with associated lithics, Tlapacoya Man Skull, Tocuila Mammoths, Tequixquiac Late Pleistocene Fossils and Tepexpan Man Skeleton.

We present here a general model of strong environmental changes occurring during the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene transition that affected human and megafaunal communities in this area. Together with the presence of large volcanic eruptions from Nevado de Toluca and Popocatepetl Volcanoes that produced important tephra markers in the Basin of Mexico. The earliest directly dated human, Peñon Woman III (Age: 10, 755 +/- 75 BP) is one of the most complete and well preserved Paleoindian skeletons from the Americas.

The Santa Isabel Iztapan Mammoths I and II were found together with lithics of Scottsbluff, Lerma and Angostura types and obsidian prismatic blades but not with Clovis type points normally associated with mammoth kill sites and butchering. The lithics were found in a layer after the Pumice with Andesite tephra layer (PWA) and they have an estimated date between 14,500 BP and 10,900 BP.

Cite this Record

Paleoindian Sites from Central Mexico: Paleoenvironment and Dating. Silvia Gonzalez, David Huddart, Isabel Israde Alcantara, Gabriela Dominguez Vazquez. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444127)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -92.153; min lat: -4.303 ; max long: -50.977; max lat: 18.313 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20172