Micro-remains, ENSO, and environmental reconstruction of El Paraíso, Peru, a late preceramic site

Ari Caramanica, Jeffrey Quilter, Luis Huaman, Fiorella Villanueva, Claudia R. Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transition from the Middle Preceramic (8000–4500 cal BP) to the Late Preceramic Period (4450–3800 cal BP) in coastal Perú witnessed a dramatic change in both resource management and subsistence practices: lomas environments were abandoned in favor of riparian and littoral ecozones, while hunting and gathering was increasingly replaced by agriculture. The reason behind this transition remains a subject of debate; it has been attributed to population pressure, the development of domesticates, especially maize, environmental degradation or climate change. A recent regional study (Beresford-Jones et al., 2015) supports the 1960s Edward Lanning hypothesis that a combination of environmental and climate change forced Middle Preceramic occupants to move toward the river estuaries on the South Coast. Here, microbotanical data from the Late Preceramic site of El Paraíso on the Central Coast of Peru tests the Lanning hypothesis at the site-scale. The data demonstrate that inhabitants practiced a seasonal, Broad-Spectrum strategy by taking advantage of an ENSO-related florescence. Meanwhile, a trend toward increased salinity of nearby marshlands impacted the continued occupation of the site.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-677
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Archaeobotany
  • Central coast Peru
  • ENSO adaptation
  • Ecological niches
  • Environmental reconstruction
  • Lomas
  • Microremains
  • Phytoliths
  • Pollen
  • Preceramic
  • Resource strategy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Micro-remains, ENSO, and environmental reconstruction of El Paraíso, Peru, a late preceramic site'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this