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A Reassessment on the Lithic Artefacts from the Earliest Human Occupations at Puente Rock Shelter, Ayacucho Valley, Peru

Juan Yataco Capcha, Hugo G. Nami, Wilmer Huiza

Abstract: Richard “Scotty” MacNeish, between 1969 and 1972, led an international team of archaeologists on the Ayacucho Archaeological-Botanical—Project in the south-central highlands of Peru. Among several important archaeological sites identified there, MacNeish and his team excavated the Puente rock shelter. As a part of an ongoing research program aimed to reassess the lithic remains from this endeavor, we re-studied a sample by making diverse kinds of morpho-technological analysis. The remains studied come from the lower strata at Puente, where a radiocarbon assay from layer XIIA yielded a calibrated date of 10,190 to 9555 years BP that the present study identifies, various activities were carried out at the site, mainly related to manufacturing and repairing unifacial and bifacial tools. The artifacts studied are comparable with the lithic remains found in other sites located in the Ayacucho Basin, and with other early evidence from other parts of the south-central Andes.
Keywords: Lithic Analysis / Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Archaeology / South America / Peru / Ayacucho Basin

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