Colonisation and early peopling of the Colombian Amazon during the Late Pleistocene and the Early Holocene: New evidence from La Serranía La Lindosa


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Quarternary International

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Recent research carried out in the Serranía La Lindosa (Department of Guaviare) provides archaeological evidence of the colonisation of the northwest Colombian Amazon during the Late Pleistocene. Preliminary excavations were conducted at Cerro Azul, Limoncillos and Cerro Montoya archaeological sites in Guaviare Department, Colombia. Contemporary dates at the three separate rock shelters establish initial colonisation of the region between ~12,600 and ~11,800 cal BP. The contexts also yielded thousands of remains of fauna, flora, lithic artefacts and mineral pigments, associated with extensive and spectacular rock pictographs that adorn the rock shelter walls. This article presents the first data from the region, dating the timing of colonisation, describing subsistence strategies, and examines human adaptation to these transitioning landscapes. The results increase our understanding of the global expansion of human populations, enabling assessment of key interactions between people and the environment that appear to have lasting repercussions for one of the most important and biologically diverse ecosystems in the world.

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