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  • Americas

  • Generalized foragers probably accompanied by dogs - colonized most of Americas by 10-12,000 BP (Paleoindian), followed by broadly defined Archaic period, which is generally defined as pre-agricultural cultural groups, although often with plants in some stage of domestication in their economiesEarly Archaic (9500-7000 BP): residentially stable hunting and gathering band society that seasonally occupied base camps; coincides with environmental change in early Holocene (follows Paleoindian)

    Middle Archaic (7000-5000 BP): plant and animal communities known today generally fairly well established; generalized resource exploitation strategy, which included the hunting of a variety of animals and the gathering of wild plants, such as nuts, fruits, berries, and seeds, but with increased sedentism and more specialized economies, such as intensive shell-fishing.

    Late Archaic (5000-3000 BP): increasing regional differentiation, sedentism, trade, and an expanded dietary inventory that included domesticated plants and fully committed agricultural communities in some areas (Mesoamerica, Andes, and, perhaps, Amazon).

    Unlike much of Asia and Europe, there was no suite of early founder crops that constituted a Neolithic package to be spread by colonizing village farmers. Full-time, sedentary farming tended to be a very late economic strategy in most areas, although each geographic region in North, Middle (Meso), and South America had unique cultural trajectory, including a wide range of domesticated plants and a few animals.

  • ArchaicBroad-spectrum revolution

  • Tehuacan Valley Caves, Central Mexico (R. MacNeish)

    Long Sequence 12,000-3000 BP - shift from mobile h/g societies to sedentary farming villagesShift from micro-band settlements (residential camps) to macro-band settlements (base camps)ca. 7000-5000 BP first domesticates (squash, maize, beans, peppers)Mesoamerican equivalent of the Natufianca. 4000-3500 BP first fully settled farming villages (in contrast to Near East where domesticates and settled village life seem to occur at about the same time)

  • Richard Scotty MacNeish &Tehuacan Valley Mexico

  • The Tehuacan Caves: Coxcatlan & Abejas

  • The Archaic in Mexico (ca. 9500-2500 BC) was characterized primarily by nomadic bands of foragers (Watson 2009)Domestication as a long process not a revolutionGeneralized foraging, focal gathering, domesticationIncipient Agriculture: cultivation (tending, transplanting, tilling, sowing) Specialized GardeningDomestication, field agriculture, plant breeding

  • Guila Naquitz, Oaxaca Valley 8,750-6,670 BCSquash & Gourds (8000 BC)Maize (4300 BC)Pinon nut

  • GUILA NAQUITZ CAVEBasketryGroundstoneDeer mandibleScraper

  • Transition to Food Production at Guila NaquitzKent Flannery and the Broad Specrtrum Revolution; Mesoamerica seemed to fit the expectations of Boserups model: technology will respond to demographic stressIn Oaxaca Valley (Guila Naquitz), variability in year to year productivity, over time improvements occurred in resource extraction to buffer bad-years: experimentation during times of environmental stressWhen the system reached a level of efficiency that could scarcely be improved, adopted agricultureAdoption of agriculture results in fundamental changes and restarts the process (i.e., improvements in existing technology ultimately leading to technological changes)

  • Early agricultural villages widespread by 4000-3500 BP (early pre-classic or formative), and soon thereafter evidence of complex societies in some areas (later in semester)Teotihuacan, central Mexico(AD 200)

  • North America

    The trinity or three sisters of Native American agricultural systems in NA and MesomericaEarly evidence of squash and bottle gourd by ca. 10,000-8000 BPSquash present throughout much of eastern USA by ca. 6,000 BPCorn and beans from Mexico by ca. 4000-3500 BP in SW USA Added to Eastern Agricultural Complex by ca. 2000-1500 BP (early dates from Ohio, Tennessee, and Illinois).Beans by ca. AD 1200 (800 BP) in eastern NA.

  • Koster Site, Illinois1968-1979 excavations at Koster site on the Illinois River floodplain, recording 10,000 years of human occupation with at least 26 separate living horizons defined.

    Major Archaic villages or base camps were present at Koster ca. 8600, 7000, and 5300 BP.

    House platforms (5 x 4.5 m (16x14) were foundations for rectangular structures with hearths; numerous storage and food preparation pits in early occupations

    Fishing and waterfowl, as well as very diversified hunted and gathered foods, including early domesticates of Eastern Agricultural Complex

    One of the earliest domesticated dog burials in the new world (8500 BP), millions of artifacts, and

    Evidence of extensive trade networks that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

  • HypsithermalMid-Holocene Climatic Optimum (ca. 8-4000 BP)

  • Archaic Roots of Agriculture

    Eastern Agricultural Complex (chenopod, sunflower, sumpweed, maygrass, pepo gourd, and bottle gourd)Woodland Period (after ca. 3000 BP): Tobacco (Illinois and Vermont by early first millennium BC)Maize by 2300 BP, increasingly widespread after 2000-1500 BP; beans later by AD 1200Early pottery, described by Ken Sassaman in SE USA (ca. 4500 BC), important step forward in the processing and cooking of foraged foods and critical in later agricultural complexes (ceramics are traditionally uised as a defining characteristic of Woodland period in eastern North America, along with agriculture and mounds, but now known to be highly variable

  • Watson Brake and Poverty Point:Early Moundbuilding Cultures of Eastern North AmericaPoverty Point, LACa. 3700-2200 BPWatson Brake, LACa. 6000 BP

  • Settled agricultural communities with simple irrigation in SW USA ca. 3000 BPLas Capas, Arizona

  • Western North American Hunter-GatherersFood foraging societies, including settled complex societies based on hunted, fished and collected resources, such as in coastal California and Northwest Coast of NA, continue in North America until historic times

  • Early Maritime Adaptations of Central Andean CoastsEarly maritime economies in coastal areas, from late Pleistocene times, at Quebrada Jaguay, Quebrada Tacahuay, and the Ring Site in southern Peruvian coast, including nets and floats (12,700-8500 BP)Las Vegas (Ecuador), ca. 10,000-6700 BP, semi-sedentary habitation site with mixed foraging economy, and early domesticated crops (squash, bottle gourd, and possible maize; directly dated to 5300-4900 BP at Loma Alta)Nanchoc (Peru) has evidence of squash, peanut and cotton ca. 9000-7000 BPCotton and bottle gourd important industrial crops for fishing economies (nets and floats)

  • La Paloma (8800-5700 BP): fishing village that at maximum had 50 small, circular dome housesChilca (5500-4500 BP): later fishing village with small, circular houses and economy with bottle gourd, cotton, beans, and perhaps, squash and tomatoMaritime Foundations of Andean Civilization (M. Moseley, 1975)Chilca (5500-4500 BP)Caral, northern Peru (4600-4000 BP); 3,000 people

  • Chinchorro (Southern Peru) Worlds oldest mummies (8000-3700 BP)National Geographic Magazine (March 1995: 69-81)

  • High Andean DomesticatesHigh-altitude complex (above about 8,000 ft.): quinoa, potato, other tubersMid-altitude complex (about 4,000-8,000 ft.): amaranth, peanut, jicama, lima and common bean, guava, squash, bottle gourd, coca, and othersLow Altitude complex (below 4,000 ft)

  • ca. 8-5000 BPBeans, Chili Peppers, tubers (oca, achira), quinoa (wild cereal grass), and possibly capsicum (candidate for early maize but likely disturbed)Guitarrero Cave, Peru

  • Asana: Base Camp and Herding Residence

    Rockshelter first used as temporary hide-working camp for costal groups (11,500-10,500 BP), then base camp for hunting band exploiting the high sierra (10,500-7000 BP), then short-term base camp (7000-5800 BP) for groups more focused on plant resources (5800-5000 BP), then a pastoral camelid herding camp (5000-4300 BP).

    Domesticated llama (from wild guanaco) and alpaca (from wild vicua) by 7000-6000 BP

    Also Guinea Pigs and Muscovy Ducks

  • AmazoniaPedra Pintada (11,000-10,000 BP): tropical forest foragers; Taperinha (7,700-7000 BP) settled river foragers, with potentially earliest ceramics in AmericasFocused on root crop agriculture and arboriculture, likely very early domestication of root crops, such as manioc and sweet potato, but very little evidence from region thus far: sampling and preservation big problems Carl Sauer (1952) proposed that tropical regions were critical hearths of early domestication, notably of root crops (vegeculture) rather than seedsLowland complex: manioc, tobacco, sweet potato, chili pepper, squash, cotton, papaya, avocado, pineapple, and numerous other plants, including peach palm138 plants in some state of domestication (incipient, semi-domesticate, or full domesticate) used in Amazonia, of which 83 are native, 55 imported, and 68% are trees or woody perennialsManioc, the most important crop (6th most important in world today) likely domesticated early 10,000-9,000 BP, with archaeological evidence outside of Amazonia by 8000-7000 BPMaize appears to diffuse into Amazonia relatively late: after ca. 3,000 years ago, but uncertain

  • Landscape domestication andmanagement of non-domesticated plants and animals and incipient or semi-domesticates(a topic we take up later in course)

  • Sambaqui (Shell Mound Culture)Complex Shell-fish foragers in eastern coastal South America

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