Central Andes: Prehispanic Hunter-Gatherers

  • Luis E. Salcedo CamachoEmail author
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_2573-2

State of Knowledge and Current Debates

Introduction

Hunter-gatherers’ study in Central Andes has been the focus of attention of Peruvian, American, and European researchers for nearly a century. Its Golden Age began in 1958 with the pioneering excavations of Peruvian archaeologists: first in Huánuco highlands, initial work led by Augusto Cardich (1958, 1964) in Uchcumachay and Lauricocha caves at high Marañón valley and then by Rogger Ravines (1965) in Perjaypata and Jatunushco caves at high Huallaga valley, and second, the research led by Ramiro Matos (1975) in Junín highlands. Simultaneously, since 1958 there was a long-term research done by the Riva-Agüero Institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (IRA-PUCP), initially led by Josefina Ramos de Cox (1969) and then by Mercedes Cárdenas (1981).

Such research was followed in the 1960s and 1970s by the work of American anthropologists in Peruvian central coast (Lanning 1963; Patterson 1966), on the coast of Casma (Malpass 1986), in the Callejón de Huaylas (Lynch 1970, 1980), and in the Ayacucho highlands (MacNeish et al. 1980, 1981). Also in the 1970s, several field projects were implemented in Junín highlands, in charge of several foreign researchers: the German Peter Kaulicke (1980, 2000), the French Danièle Lavallée and Michèle Julien, and the American Jane Wheeler (Lavallée et al. 1995), John Rick, Barbara Bocek, and Katherine Moore (Rick 1980; Rick and Moore 2000); those were promoted by R. Matos as part of the interdisciplinary and international effort of its “Punas Junín Project” of the National University of San Marcos (Kaulicke 2000: 307).

Besides the work led by the Swiss Fréderic-André Engel (1966) on the coast of Ancash, Lima, and Ica, deserving a special mention is his passage through the Chilca valley (southern Lima), where he conducted surveys and excavations at several sites since the mid-1960s (Engel 1988). His diggings in the emblematic La Paloma preceramic village began in 1966 and resumed in 1973 by his American collaborators including the following: Christopher Donnan in 1973–1975, John W. Greer in 1976, Terry Stocker in 1979, and Robert Benfer, Jr., in 1976–1982 and 1990, with participation of Jeffrey Quilter (burial patterns) in the 1980s, Eric White (lithics) and Joseph Vradenburg (bioanthropology) in the 1990s, the Peruvian Bernardino Ojeda in 1975–1982, and the team of Arid Zone Research Center of the La Molina National Agricultural University (CIZA-UNALM) (Benfer 2000; Engel 1988; Quilter 1989).

Terrorist violence that occurred in Peru between 1980 and 1992 made it almost impossible to develop archaeological field research, especially in the highlands. Among the few exceptions, we have the work of the Peruvian Mercedes Cárdenas (1981) in Tablada de Lurín in 1980–1988 (see also Salcedo 2014) and Santiago Uceda (1992) in the lower Casma valley in 1980–1983; the American Michael Malpass (1986) in the lower Casma valley and the Cordillera Negra of Ancash in 1980–1981; the Croatian naturalized Peruvian Duccio Bonavia, who repeatedly visited the site of Pozo Santo, near Paracas, Ica, in 1980–1983 (Bonavia and Chauchat 1990); and the work of the American John Rick in Panaulauca in 1983–1986 (e.g., Rick and Moore 2000) and Robert Benfer, Jr., in La Paloma, southern Lima, in 1980–1982 and 1990 (Benfer 2000).

However, the 1980s saw a boom in terms of publications, mostly monographs, of the fieldwork and laboratory conducted between 1965 and 1980 (Bonavia 1982; Engel 1988; Kaulicke 1980; Lavallée et al. 1995; Lynch 1970, 1980; MacNeish et al. 1980, 1981; Malpass 1986; Quilter 1989; Rick 1980), although some original publications (e.g., Rick and Moore 2000) or translations from French and German to Spanish (Lavallée et al. 1995; Kaulicke 2000) do not saw the light until the next decade. By the mid-1990s, the fieldwork resumed, albeit limited to the central coast in Lima, basically in the Lomas de Atocongo of the lower Lurín valley (León 1999; Salcedo 2012a) and further south in the Cruz de Hueso gorge (Ugarte 2008). In parallel, the analysis of lithic material collected by Bonavia in 1977 at Tres Piedras quarry site, in lower Huarmey valley, was performed (León 2002).

In the first-half of the 2000s, several sites on the south coast were investigated during the construction of a gas pipeline, with line passing near the cities of Pisco, Chincha, Cañete, Chilca, and Lurín (Salcedo in press; see also Salcedo 2012b, 2014). In the second-half of the 2000s, research was carried out in the Orcón-Pacaybamba gorge in the middle Chancay valley, northern Lima (Goldhausen et al. 2008), as well as in the lower Río Grande valley, Nazca, Ica (Ferrando 2011). In the first-half of the 2010s, a research shortage on the central coast occurred again, being limited to the evaluation and monitoring of development projects, with results mostly remaining unpublished, but where is remarkable the discovery of a new lithic complex near the Marcona town, southern Nazca, Ica (Salcedo 2015). In addition, it should be mentioned the reassessment of the proto-Paleoindian lithic industry of the Ayacucho Complex from Pikimachay Cave, which revealed the existence of a point preform, and a pentagonal projectile point (Yataco 2013). In the second-half of the 2010s, a reanalysis of the Paleoindian lithic materials excavated by Lynch in the 1970s was performed at the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru (Ortiz 2017); and a recent research, performed at the Paleoindian site of Pampa Lechuza, Pisco valley, Ica, yielded evidences of occupation along with huge amount of lithic artifacts, including projectile points (Dulanto et al. 2018).

Geographic and Climatic Context of the Central Andes

Central Andes’ physical area has been defined in very different ways, so here is a geographical and cultural criterion: the north is limited by the Santa, Tablachaca, and Pampas river basins (Ancash); the south by the imaginary line linking the towns of Marcona (Ica), Andamarca (Ayacucho), and Sondor (Apurímac); the east on the border between the mountains and the jungle; and the west by the Pacific Ocean, being framed between the following geographical coordinates: 8°12′–15°26′ Lat.S and 73°13′–78°39′ Long.W. In administrative terms, it covers the current departments of Lima, Ancash, the western part of Huánuco, Pasco and Junín, northwest Apurimac, northern and central Ayacucho, as well as Huancavelica and Ica (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1

Central Andes, Peru. Location of main sites mentioned in the text. (Adapted from Google Earth satellite image). Coastal sites: 1 – Casma: Sites 9, 17, 27, 29 (TPSA), Mongoncillo, El Calvario, and Cerro Negro (TAPF); 2 – Huarmey: Tres Piedras (TPSA); 3 – Huaral: Piedra Roja, Quebrada Huachoc, Quebrada Silla (TPSA), and Huaynacoto (TAPF); 4 – Chillón: Cerro de los Chivateros, Pampa de Piedras Gordas, Cerro Cruxent, Cerro Monturita, Estancia Luz (TPSA), Cerro Arenal, Pampa del Canario, and Cerro Corvina (TAPF); 5 – Lurín: Tablada de Lurín and Cerro Tres Marías (TPSA/TAPF); 6 – Punta Negra: Quebrada Cruz de Hueso 1–4 (TPSA/TAPF); 7 – Chilca: Cerro Pucusana, Chilca 1, 5, 20, 50, 304, 921, 2017, Lapa Lapa 2, La Paloma, and Cerro Calcarí 6 (TAPF); 8 – Omas (Asia): F2-E133 and F2-E136 (TAPF); 9 – Cañete: Las Gaviotas, F3-E023d (TPSA), Cerro Grande 1–4, and Hacienda La Merced 1–2 (TAPF); 10 – Pampa del Vituco 1–3 (TAPF); 11 – Paracas: Pozo Santo (TPSA), Pampas de Santo Domingo (TPSA/TAPF), Paracas 3, Visitantes and Cabezas Largas (TAPF); 12 – Nazca: La Esmeralda and Las Brujas (TAPF); 13 – Marcona: Pampa Choclón 1–2 and San Nicolás 3, 4, 6–12, 15–25, and EA-1 to 63 (TPSA); Highland sites: 14 – Callejón de Huaylas: Quishqui Puncu, Cueva del Guitarrero (TPSA/TAPF); 15 – Cordillera Negra: Tecliomachay and Huachamanmachay (TPSA); 16 – Alto Huallaga: Jatunushco and Perjaypata (TAPF); 17 – Alto Marañón: Uchcumachay 1–2 and Lauricocha 1–2 (TAPF); 18 – Junín Lake: Pachamachay (TPSA/TAPF); 19 – Puna of Junín: Telarmachay (TPSA/TAPF), Acomachay, Cuchimachay, Panaulauca, and Uchkumachay-Tilarnioc (TAPF); 20 – Alto Chilca: Quiqché and Tres Ventanas 1–2 (TAPF); and 21 – Ayacucho: Jaywamachay, Pikimachay (TPSA/TAPF), Ayamachay, Rosamachay, and Puente (TAPF)

Such region has a large geographic and climatic diversity, and its detailed description is beyond the scope of this paper. However, generally speaking, one can say that the region is divided into mountains and coast and, in turn, is subdivided into the mountains puna (over 3800 masl [meters above sea level]) and intermontane valleys, while the coast is divided between the coastal valleys, the fog oasis locally known as lomas (below 800 masl), and the sandbanks. Basically, there are two seasons being complementary between the highlands and the coast: from November to April, wet season in the mountains is given, while on the coast, the dry season occurs; consequently, from May to October, dry season occurs in the mountains, while on the coast the wet season occurs.

The puna has the most rigorous and seasonal climate, with dry air and daily temperature ranging up to 50 °C, with an average annual rainfall of 60–100 cm, which limits the growth of trees and shrubs, such as molle and other plants (genera Inga, Schinus, Polylepis), and simultaneously it supports steppe vegetation of grasses such as ichu (genera Poa, Festuca, Eragrostis, Calamagrostis, and Stipa) on which some padded cactus (genus Opuntia) spread (Lynch 1980]). In the open puna growing tubers, bulbs, and roots, vegetables such as potatoes (Ullucus tuberosus), oca (Oxalis tuberosa), olluco (Ollucus tuberosus), lupine or tarwi (Lupinus mutabilis), and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) grow, while in humid areas, wetland vegetation known as bofedales grows, and on the lakeshores the cane fields (bofedales) of rushes (juncos) and cattails (totoras) grow (Lavallée et al. 1995; Lynch 1980).

Likewise, the valleys show a stratified ecology depending on the altitude and the differential distribution of rainfall, and its seasonality is pronounced for its dry condition, being less productive annually, particularly in their lower parts, where the vegetation is very productive but dispersed; the lack of permanent pasture causes a low density in greater fauna with respect to the puna (Rick 1988). Meanwhile, in few coastal valleys that have permanent rivers and, although the variation in annual temperature allows a double harvest, seasonal fluctuation in river flow causes only a fraction of the land that can be irrigated for a second crop; moreover, the lomas vegetation is mostly herbaceous, heavily dependent on weather and other environmental conditions to produce considerable amounts of food (Cohen 1978).

Among the fauna, we can consider basically mammals, following in importance birds, fish, and amphibians. Undoubtedly, the most important mammals are larger ungulates such as deer, including the Andean deer (known as taruca or huemul) inhabiting the highlands, and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus peruvianus) living in the intermontane valleys and on grounds below the highlands and visiting the coastal lomas; in addition, there are South American camelids, including two wild species, vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) inhabiting the highlands and guanaco (Lama guanicoe) which are distributed across the highlands, the valleys, and the coastal lomas, and two domestic species, alpaca (Lama pacos) which lives on 4000 masl and feeds bogs and llama (Lama glama) which inhabits grasslands on 3000 masl (Lavallée et al. 1995; Wheeler 2000).

There are also medium-sized mammals, basically carnivores of two families: the canids are represented by Andean fox (Dusicyon culpaeus andinus), skunk or zorrino (Conepatus rex rex), and domestic dog (Canis familiaris), while the felids include cougar or puma (Puma concolor) and two species of wild cat (Felis colocolo and F. jacobita) (Lavallée et al. 1995). Additionally, there is a mustelid carnivore, common opossum or zarigüeya, who lives around the 3500 masl (Lynch 1980; Rick 1980). Also, small mammals include several species of rodents, with wild guinea pig or cuy silvestre (Cavia aperea) and northern viscacha or vizcacha (Lagidium peruanun inca) that lives between 3000 and 5000 masl being remarkable (Lavallée et al. 1995; Lynch 1980).

Although in open puna birds scarce, they abound in the valleys. Typical highland birds include two species of partridge (Nothoprocta ornata and Tinamotis pentlandi) and a bird of prey: American vulture or condor (Vultur gryphus). Additionally, the puna includes birds such as duck, goose, ibex, heron, flamingo, etc., while the intermontane valleys have huacha, duck, coot, and parihuana (Lavallée et al. 1995; Lynch 1980). Among the fish are small species that inhabit the lakes or streams, such as gudgeon and catfish (genera Orestias and Pygidium), while among the amphibians stands the Junín’s giant frog (Batrachophrynus macrostomus), which inhabits the streams and lagoons (Lavallée et al. 1995; Rick 1980).

Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems

For decades, researchers tried to understand how populations of hunter-gatherers adapted to their environment, managing scarcity or dispersion of natural resources; the temporal abyss that separates us from those preliterate populations largely exceeds the collective memory, which hinders any attempt to reconstruct the history of human groups settled in a region where the landscape and climate varied throughout the year, causing the resources to be relatively abundant in part of the year and scarce in the other; so, there were no ideal places to settle, nothing like an “Andean Eden”; therefore people should move from one place to another within its territory, sometimes the whole group, but often split into subgroups (Salcedo 2012b: xiii). Unfortunately, the study of past societies cannot be done directly, as artifacts, bones, and hearths do not speak for themselves, nor its distribution produces anthropological information per se if we disregard ethnographic comparison, although the application of actualism can also lead to erroneous conclusions, because modern behavioral patterns do not necessarily fit with the old ones (Salcedo 2012b: xvi).

Binford (1980) proposed two opposite and complementary categories of mobility for hunter-gatherers: (a) residential mobility (displacement of the entire group from one camp to another) and (b) logistic mobility (movements in search of food or raw material made by individuals or small groups who return to the same base camp); both types of mobility are related to a couple of strategies:
  • Foragers produce residential camps and locations, making frequent residential movements and short logistic movements to bring resources from locations to camp; archaeologically, their activities are barely visible as resources are little processed at locations, nor store them in the camps, leaving its remains scattered in the landscape more than focused on recognizable sites.

  • Collectors produce base camps, logistical camps, locations, stations, and deposits, making infrequent residential movements toward key locations and long logistic movements to bring resources to the base camp and store food; archaeologically, its activities are highly visible because of processing resources, while the size and density of their sites vary according to the season they are used.

The adaptation of the Binford’s model to the Andean case was applied in specific regions, such as the coastal hills of the valleys of the Chillón (Lanning 1963; Patterson 1966) and Lurín (Salcedo 2012a), in Lima; the intermontane valley of Callejón de Huaylas, in Ancash (Lynch 1967, 1980); and the puna of Junín (Lavallée et al. 1995; Wheeler 2000). However, it was Salcedo (2012b, 2014) who since 1997 widely applied the model to the Central Andes, linking the regions of puna and intermontane valleys, with the regions of coastal valleys and lomas establishing interactions between different cultural complexes.

Updated Chronological Frame

Central Andes were not inhabited exclusively by a single cultural complex but by several complexes belonging to two different traditions (Salcedo 2014). In such cultural context, the use of a new chronology based on calibrated radiocarbon dates was required, taking as reference the new carbon isotope stages (climatic stages deduced from cyclical variation in the atmospheric carbon-14 recognizable in the calibration curves and where deep valleys and plateaus correspond to times of dimmed solar activity, known as the Great Solar Minima, which in turn would have influenced the development patterns of past societies) (Salcedo 2011).

All radiocarbon dates mentioned in the text, as well as in Table 1, were calibrated using the OxCal v.3.10r program, developed at Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit by C. Bronk Ramsey (2005) (available at https://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/embed.php?File=oxcal.html), which was updated to use the IntCal13 calibration curve (Reimer et al. 2013); the program was configured to use two standard deviations (95.4%) and 100 k MCMC iterations, using dates included in the references cited in this text and those included in Salcedo (2014).
Table 1

Inventory of radiocarbon dates published for central Andean complexes belonging to the South American Paleoindian Tradition (TPSA) and the Andean Foliated Point Tradition (TAPF), calibrated with OxCal v.3.10r program using the IntCal13 calibration curve (Reimer et al. 2013), except where is indicated with an asterisk (*), corresponding to IntCal09 calibration curve (Reimer et al. 2009). (Modified after Salcedo 2014: 336–337, 441–443, and 448). Calibrated dates are expressed in “years Cal. BC,” except where indicated with “AD” (Anno Domini). Laboratory codes marked with an asterisk are considered inconsistent with site’s stratigraphy

Site (code)

Level (phase)

Excavation unit/context

Lab, code

Age BP

Age Cal. BC

p (2σ)

(a) South American Paleoindian Tradition (TPSA) sites

Paiján Complex

Cerro de los Chivateros

2

?

UCLA-683

10.430

±

160

10.750

9800

95,4%

Estancia Luz (PV45–84)

2

2

Y-1303

7380

±

120

6450

6020

95,4%

Hearth

UCLA-202

7140

±

100

6230

5800

95,4%

2

Y-1304

6520

±

120

5670

5280

93,2%

Pampa de Piedras Gordas

?

?

UCLA-201

7300

±

100

6390

6000

95,4%

Cerro Tres Marías

E?

B-I

PUCP-101

9510

±

100

9250

8600

95,4%

Tablada de Lurín

E?

A/burial

GaK-1599

9150

±

200

9200

7700

95,4%

Santo Domingo complex

Pampas Sto. Domingo 96

?

Burial 1

I–1311

8830

±

190

8450

7500

95,4%

Huaylas Complex

Cueva del Guitarrero

162? (I)

C6

OxA-109*

9860

±

200

10.100

8700

95,4%

159 (IIa)

C6

GX-1780

10.475

±

300

11.000

9300

95,4%

 

C6

OxA-197

10.340

±

130

10.650

9650

95,4%

 

C6

SI-1502

10.240

±

110

10.500

9400

95,4%

150 (IIc-d?)

C6

OxA-195

10.180

±

130

10.500

9300

95,4%

146 (IIe)

C6

GX-1861*

7680

±

280

7400

6000

95,4%

122 (IV)

C6

OxA-196*

9980

±

120

10.050

9250

95,4%

Junín Complex

Pachamachay

32

7

UCLA-2118A*

11.800

±

930

15.000

9000

95,4%

31

7

UCR-554

9010

±

285

9200

7500

95,4%

Panaulauca

40

?

?

9650

±

145

9400

8600

95,4%

Telarmachay

VIIb

C6

PUCP-1825*

12.040

±

120

12.300

11.550

95,4%

C11

Lv-1279

8810

±

65

8250

7650

95,4%

Ayacucho Complex

Pikimachay (Ac 100)

h

S19-21E5

UCLA-1464

14.150

±

180

15.800

14.850

95,4%

Mantaro Complex

Jaywamachay (Ac 335)

J3

S5E6

I-5699

10.280

±

170

10.700

9400

95,4%

J2

S5E6

I-5683

9890

±

310

10.600

8500

95,4%

(b) Andean Foliated Point Tradition (TAPF) sites

Mongoncillo Complex

El Calvario (PV32-1)

5

U1

Gif-6772

6070

±

70

5210

4800

95,4%

Cerro Negro (PV32-2)

?

U5

Gif-6773

6050

±

70

5210

4790

95,4%

Lauricocha Complex

Pumaurco

III

Hearth

Gif-1530

7400

±

170

6600

5900

95,4%

Cueva del Guitarrero

28 (I)

B1/A2

GX-1779

9790

±

240

10.200

8500

95,4%

26 (I)

B1/A2

SI-1498

9960

±

150

10.150

9150

95,4%

B1/A2

OxA-181

9520

±

150

9300

8450

95,4%

22 (IIa)

B1/A2

GX-1778*

10.535

±

290

11.100

9400

95,4%

B1/A2

SI-1499

9580

±

135

9300

8600

95,4%

B1/A2

OxA-194

9430

±

150

9200

8300

95,4%

21 (IIb)

B1/A2

OxA-104*

9930

±

300

10.600

8600

95,4%

20 (IIc)

B1/A2

SI-1500

8910

±

90

8300

7750

95,4%

18 (IIe)

B1/A2

OxA-193*

9600

±

130

9300

8600

95,4%

B1/A2

SI-1501

8175

±

95

7500

6800

95,4%

B1/A2

GX-1860

7575

±

220

7100

6000

95,4%

64 (I)

B2 N1/2 (?)

OxA-185

9350

±

150

9150

8250

95,4%

63 (I)

B2 N1/2 (?)

GX-1859*

12.560

±

360

14.500

11.800

95,4%

B2 N1/2 (?)

OxA-184

9400

±

150

9200

8300

95,4%

62 (I)

B2 N1/2 (?)

SI-1496

9475

±

130

9250

8450

95,4%

B2 N1/2 (?)

OxA-183

9340

±

150

9150

8250

95,4%

59 (I)

B2 N1/2 (?)

SI-1497

9140

±

90

8620

8220

95,4%

47–48 (IV)

B2 N1/2

SI-1503*

8225

±

90

7490

7050

95,4%

47 (IV)

B2 N1/2

SI-1504*

2315

±

125

800

50

95,4%

Surficial

?

OxA-182

9280

±

150

9150

8200

95,4%

? (III)

?

OxA-108*

10.000

±

200

10.500

8900

95,4%

82 (III)

B3

RL-112

7730

±

150

7050

6250

95,4%

Pampa de Lampas

?

?

GX-1893*

11.640

±

360

12.600

10.700

95,4%

Lauricocha L-2

R (I)

14B

I-107

9525

±

250

9700

8200

95,4%

Q (II)

?

GrN-5673

5830

±

120

5000

4400

95,4%

?

GrN-5677

5720

±

110

4800

4340

95,4%

?

GrN-5518

5170

±

140

4350

3650

95,4%

?

GrN-5589

4660

±

90

3650

3100

95,4%

O (II)

?

GrN-5519

4650

±

130

3700

3000

95,4%

M (II)

?

GrN-5559

4620

±

350

4300

2400

95,4%

LL (III)

?

GrN-5516*

28.350

±

440

32.100

29.500

95,4%

?

GrN-5493

4260

±

250

3700

2200

95,4%

Huargo

8 (non-cultural)

I

BVA-?*

13.460

±

700

16.100

12.000

95,4%

5

?

BVA-?

3560

±

230

2600

1300

95,4%

Cuchimachay

III (A)

?

Ny-237

5580

±

80

4610

4310

92,4%

Chupacancha

55 (I)

Hearth

WSU-2937

8030

±

130

7350

6600

95,4%

47 (II)

Hearth

WSU-2936

5670

±

120

4800

4250

95,4%

Pachamachay

28 (II)

7

UCR-555

8125

±

280

7800

6400

95,4%

25 (III)

6

UCR-557

6580

±

255

6000

4900

95,4%

23 (III)

6

UCLA-2118D

5080

±

60

3990

3710

95,4%

19 (IV)

6

UCR-556*

6100

±

250

5600

4400

95,4%

17 (V)

6

UCLA-2118B

3800

±

60

2460

2120

88,7%

21 (VI)

1

LJ-3286

3660

±

60

2210

1880

95,4%

13 (VI)

4

UCLA-2118C

3640

±

60

2200

1870

95,4%

Panaulauca

39 (2a)

?

?

8360

±

?

?

?

34 (2b)

?

WSU-2939

7650

±

95

6690

6350

93,1%

30 (3)

?

WSU-3002

5990

±

90

5250

4650

95,4%

21 (4)

?

WSU-2938

5135

±

75

4250

3700

95,4%

18 (5)

?

WSU-3001

4040

±

60

2780

2450

85,2%

16 (5)

?

WSU-3000

3630

±

90

2300

1700

95,4%

Telarmachay

VIIa (VIIA)

C8

Lv-1193

7620

±

60

6600

6380

95,4%

C11

Gif-5389

7250

±

140

6450

5800

95,4%

C9

Lv-1278

7140

±

60

6110

5880

92,3%

VI (VI)

D10

Lv-1277

7150

±

90

6230

5840

95,4%

D7

Gif-5388*

5580

±

120

4750

4050

95,4%

C11

Gif-5394*

5320

±

110

4400

3800

95,4%

B8

Gif-5390*

4220

±

110

3100

2450

95,4%

Vc (Vinf.)

E8

Gif-5392

6780

±

130

5920

5480

94,0%

E9

Lv-1192

6110

±

80

5230

4830

94,1%

A6-7

Lv-1276*

5000

±

80

3960

3650

95,4%

Vb-c (Vinf.)

A7

Gif-5391

5320

±

120

4450

3800

95,4%

Vb (Vinf.)

D9

Lv-1134

5700

±

65

4710

4440

90,0%

Va-b (Vsup.)

B6

Lv-1191*

4910

±

80

3950

3620

85,6%

B6

Gif-5393*

4430

±

70

3340

2910

95,4%

Va (Vsup.)

E10

Gif-5046

5370

±

110

4400

3960

93,9%

? (Vsup.)

TP-A

Lv-1133

5440

±

60

4450

4220

81,6%

C6

Gif-5047

5190

±

110

4350

3700

95,4%

110–130 cm (IV)

TP-A

Gif-3482

4400

±

200

3700

2400

95,4%

? (IV)

TP-A

Lv-1275

4510

±

45

3370

3080

93,6%

IVc (IV)

E9

Gif-5045

4420

±

110

3400

2850

94,4%

IVa (IV)

C6

Gif-4837

4470

±

110

3500

2850

95,4%

C11

Gif-4834

3910

±

110

2750

2000

93,8%

C8

Gif-4836

3700

±

100

2500

1750

95,4%

B7

Gif-4835

3680

±

100

2450

1750

95,4%

Uchkumachay (Tilarnioc)

5

E5

OxA-510

6670

±

120

5800

5370

95,4%

Yanamachay (10C-XII-1)

VI (A)

?

Ny-235

7500

±

110

6570

6090

95,4%

Ayamachay (Ac 102)

VII (Jaywa)

S22W22

I-5694

7560

±

125

6650

6100

95,4%

Jaywamachay (Ac 335)

J1 (Puente)

S6E7

I-5275

9460

±

145

9250

8300

95,4%

J-J1 (Puente)

S5E6

I-5276*

8645

±

140

8250

7450

95,4%

I (Puente)

S3E3

I-5695

9560

±

170

9350

8350

95,4%

H (Puente)

S5E6

I-5247

8980

±

140

8550

7650

95,4%

F (Jaywa)

S2E3

I-5686

8500

±

125

7950

7150

95,4%

S3E3

I-5278*

7105

±

130

6230

5720

95,4%

D (Jaywa)

S2E1

I-4501

8360

±

125

7600

7050

95,4%

C (Jaywa)

S2E1

I-4500

8250

±

135

7600

6800

95,4%

Puente (Ac 158)

XIIA (Puente)

S7 (hearth)

I-5057

8860

±

125

8300

7600

95,4%

X (Jaywa)

S6W2

I-5056

7420

±

125

6480

6020

95,4%

VIII (Jaywa)

S7

I-5054

7160

±

125

6350

5700

95,4%

VI (Piki)

S6W2

I-5132

6670

±

120

5800

5370

95,4%

IV (Piki)

W1

I-5128

6560

±

120

5710

5300

95,4%

IIB (Piki)

S6W2

I-5129

6615

±

120

5730

5330

95,4%

IIA (Piki)

S6W2

I-5130

6630

±

120

5750

5340

95,4%

II (Piki)

W1

I-4502

6360

±

110

5530

5050

95,4%

IJ (Piki)

S3W3

I-5274

6470

±

125

5700

5200

95,4%

IH (Piki)

S10W2

I-5273

6030

±

120

5300

4600

95,4%

IC (Cachi)

S9W2

I-5055

4040

±

105

2900

2250

95,4%

S7

I-5131

3995

±

105

2900

2200

95,4%

Pikimachay (Ac 100)

f (Cachi)

Profile A-B

I-4154

3850

±

120

2650

1900

95,4%

Rosamachay (Ac 117)

D1 (Chihua)

N2E4

I-5685

5470

±

110

4540

4040

95,4%

D (Chihua)

S2E3

I-5688

5250

±

105

4350

3800

95,4%

Quiqche Lm5-1 (12B-VI-470)

900

?

I-3160

9940

±

200

10.200

8800

95,4%

400 (I)

?

I-2440

8030

±

150

7450

6550

95,4%

Tres Ventanas 1 (12B-VI-450)

1000 (I)

?

I-3091

10.030

±

170

10.500

9200

95,4%

?

I-3106

8140

±

130

7500

6700

95,4%

800–500? (II)

?

OxA-1582

6830

±

90

5910

5560

95,4%

?

OxA-1581

6750

±

90

5810

5490

95,4%

300 (II)

?

I-3161*

4810

±

125

3950

3300

95,4%

200 (II)

T1

I-3092

6290

±

120

5500

4950

95,4%

Tres Ventanas 2 (12B-VI-450)

400 (I)

T1

I-3108

8030

±

120

7350

6600

95,4%

Lino (11b-XI-81)

2

F

Ly-1036

8560

±

170

8300

7100

95,4%

2

B

Ly-1035

7750

±

160

7100

6250

95,4%

2

K

Ly-1034

6010

±

260

5500

4300

95,4%

Pampa Los Perros

200

?

Birm-517b

7150

±

140

6400

5700

95,4%

200

?

Birm-517a

6810

±

140

5930

5480

91,6%

200

?

Birm-518

6080

±

130

5350

4700

95,4%

?

?

Birm-510b

5470

±

100

4500

4040

95,4%

?

?

Birm-510a

5330

±

120

4450

3800

95,4%

Cerro Arenal (PV45–34)

? (Arenal)

?

?

7140

±

100

6230

5800

95,4%

Pampa del Canario (PV45–31)

IV (Canario)

?

UCLA-203

6700

±

100

5790

5470

95,4%

Cerro Tres Marías

D (Arenal)

Area A/burial 214

GaK-2470

7830

±

180

7250

6350

95,4%

Tablada de Lurín

D (Arenal)

3 (sector 1)/Shell midden

PUCP-14

6950

±

90

6000

5670

95,4%

 

?

GaK-1859

6450

±

140

5650

5050

95,4%

D (Corvina)

20/burial T1

GaK-2353

3740

±

80

2500

1900

95,4%

La Esmeralda Complex

La Esmeralda (CAH 88) Pir.2

150 cm

Q2-N7

Gd-4394

5400

±

150

4550

3800

95,4%

150 cm

Q2-N7/burial T1

Gd-4393

5430

±

130

4550

3950

95,4%

150 cm

Q2-N7/post W

GrN-16593

5555

±

45

4490

4330

95,4%

150 cm

Q2-N7/burial T1

Gd-2996

5440

±

90

4460

4040

95,4%

150 cm

Q2-N7/HW

Gd-3441

5535

±

30

4450

4330

95,4%

7/150 cm

Q2-N7/post

Gd-2994

5280

±

90

4340

3950

95,4%

150 cm

Q2-N7/post W

Gif A-89171

5130

±

140

4300

3600

95,4%

150 cm

Q2-N7/post

Gif-8128

5190

±

70

4240

3900

82,9%

Las Brujas

5 (Décapage 16)

Trench 1/east profile hearth

Erl-13246

4494

±

47

3360

3080

89,0%

5 (Décapage 13)

Trench 1/east profile hearth

Erl-13245

4183

±

46

2900

2620

95,4%

Chilca Complex

Cerro Pucusana (12B-VII-908)

?

?

Gif-1296

6080

±

150

5400

4600

95,4%

?

?

GrN-5545

6265

±

55

5360

5050

95,4%

Chilca 1 (12B-VII-1)

?

?

NZ-1053

5700

±

136

4900

4250

95,4%

6 (1000)

105–87

V-750

5688

±

?

?

?

4 (900–800)

105–87

V-796*

4937

±

?

?

?

3B (700)

105–87

V-795*

5237

±

220

4550

3500

95,4%

3A (600)

105–87

V-799

4487

±

?

?

?

26 (300)

105–87

V-794

5637

±

?

?

?

2C (300)

105–87

V-806

5637

±

200

4950

4000

95,4%

?

?

I-813

5650

±

190

4950

4050

95,4%

?

?

I-892

5410

±

275

4900

3600

95,4%

?

?

I-817

5250

±

220

4550

3600

95,4%

?

?

UCLA-664

5370

±

120

4450

3960

95,4%

2

126–63

V-793

5012

±

?

?

?

?

?

I-814

4950

±

220

4400

3100

95,4%

?

105–87

V-778

4837

±

?

?

?

?

?

I-815

5025

±

200

4350

3350

95,4%

?

?

I-745

4975

±

160

4250

3350

95,4%

?

105–87

V-798

4512

±

?

?

?

?

?

I-816

4500

±

190

3650

2650

95,4%

Chilca 5 (12B-VII-5)

2 (400)

105–87

V-800

5237

±

220

4550

3500

95,4%

?

Burial 49

V-777

4962

±

?

?

?

Chilca 20 (12B-VII-20)

?

?

I-1192

6970

±

300

6500

5300

95,4%

?

I-1387

5100

±

150

4350

3600

95,4%

Chilca 50 (12B-VII-50)

3–4

?

GrN-5547

5130

±

110

4250

3650

95,4%

Chilca 304 (12B-VII-304)

?

Dwelling

Gif-864

9700

±

200

9900

8400

95,4%

100

?

I-2441

8900

±

120

8300

7650

95,4%

Chilca 921 (12B-VII-921)

300

?

I-2253

6930

±

130

6.060

5610

95,4%

Chilca 2017 (12B-VII-2017)

1

Dwelling

GrN-5520

4220

±

65

2930

2580

95,4%

Lapa Lapa 2 (12B-VII-93)

?

?

I-1124

4515

±

220

3800

2500

95,4%

La Paloma (12B-VII-613)

600

U1/N105-E115/H103

UGa-3892

7735

±

100

7050

6350

95,4%

500

U1/N?-E?/H?-T11

Ny-243

6510

±

180

5800

5000

95,4%

400

U1/N90-E45/T1

I-3126

6310

±

340

5900

4400

95,4%

U1/N80-E115/H13

UGa-4211

6000

±

150

5300

4500

95,4%

U1?/N85-E120/H136

UGa-4117

5535

±

95

4650

4050

95,4%

U1/N75-E95/H42

UGa-4208

5435

±

110

4490

3990

95,4%

U1/N80-E115/H13

UGa-4120

5020

±

85

3970

3650

95,4%

300

U2/N?-E?/H?-T159

UGa-4212*

9895

±

4380

19.600

400 AD

95,4%

U1/N50-E115/H22

Birm-516

6410

±

240

5800

4750

95,4%

U1/N100-E115/H29-T12

Ny-242

6030

±

180

5350

4500

95,4%

U1/N75-E120/?

UGa-4119

5210

±

85

4260

3790

95,4%

U1/N95-E130/H?-T83

UGa-4210

5110

±

125

4250

3650

95,4%

230

U2/N105-E65/H101

UGa-4121*

5635

±

360

5400

3700

95,4%

U1/N180-E5/H?

UGa-4118*

5000

±

200

4350

3350

95,4%

U3/N215-W10/H?

UGa-4205

5055

±

85

4000

3650

95,4%

220

U1/N80-E120/H137

UGa-4206

4780

±

100

3780

3350

95,4%

200

U2/N105-E65/H101

Beta-60864

5010

±

60

3960

3660

95,4%

U2/N105-E65/H129

Beta-60865

5010

±

89

3970

3640

95,4%

U1/N?-E?/H?

Birm-515

4900

±

130

4000

3350

95,4%

U1/N?-E?/H?

Gif-708

4120

±

200

3400

2100

95,4%

Loma Huarangal (12B-VII 9160)

?

?

Ny-231

5630

±

70

4620

4330

95,4%

Bahía San Nicolás (PV72)

?

?

P-1844

5560

±

80

4560

4240

95,4%

?

?

Gif-1535*

3700

±

100

2500

1750

95,4%

Boca del Río Ica (PV62–25)

?

?

Birm-511

7520

±

300

7100

5700

95,4%

400

?

I-3560

6150

±

120

5400

4750

95,4%

?

?

Birm-513

5430

±

140

4550

3950

95,4%

Cabezas Largas (PV59–1)

?

?

NZ-609

5020

±

120

4150

3500

95,4%

Pampas Sto. Domingo 96

?

Burial

Gif-772

5175

±

200

4450

3500

95,4%

Pampas Sto. Domingo 519

?

Burial 2

GX-218

5890

±

145

5250

4450

95,4%

Paracas 514

?

Burial

GX-352

7740

±

185

7100

6200

95,4%

During the Holocene, human populations adapt to a more benign, less frigid climate, where the increase in global temperature led to the domestication of plants and animals (Salcedo 2012b). In cultural terms, this climate period can be divided up into five cultural stages grouped in two epochs (Salcedo 2012b, 2014):
  • Protoarchaic epoch (13,400–7400 years Cal. BC), which corresponds to the initial stage of settlement and dissemination of human populations across the Americas and transition between the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. It is subdivided into two cultural stages: (a) Early Protoarchaic (13,400–11,000 years Cal. BC), which corresponds coarsely to climate setback known as the Younger Dryas, and (b) Late Protoarchaic (11,000–7,400 years Cal. BC), which corresponds to the Preboreal.

  • Archaic epoch (7400–1700 years Cal. BC), which corresponds to the development and regionalization of cultures without pottery, the processes of sedentarism and domestication of plants and animals, and the beginning of use of marine resources. It is subdivided into three cultural stages:
    1. (a)

      Early Archaic (7400–5900 years Cal. BC) coincides with the proliferation of cervids and camelids after the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna, causing a radical change in diet and resource utilization strategies, resulting in a generalized and indiscriminate hunting of animals.

       
    2. (b)

      Middle Archaic (5900–2800 years Cal. BC) is the time when hunters learn the behavior and distribution of new species, using a more profitable and rational selective hunting strategy and improving their lithic technology (changes in the shape and relative frequency of certain types of artifacts, making them increasingly efficient), which in turn leads to the implementation of a control strategy and management of semi-domesticated camelids in the highlands; in parallel, other groups experimented with the domestication of plants in the intermontane and coastal valleys, used the resources obtained in the lomas, and set in the first villages of fishermen and horticulturists in a littoral zone.

       
    3. (c)

      Late Archaic (2800–1700 years Cal. BC), in the highlands, is the time when control over camelids evolves from a simple intervention in breeding herds to the implementation and dissemination of pastoralism; in parallel, in the valleys the domestication of several plant species, which begin to be brought to the coast, occurs, while in the villages of fishermen and horticulturists, the basis of what later became known as agriculture develops.

       

Early Cultural Traditions

All preceramic sites in Central Andes can be sorted in two of the five early cultural traditions of South America, namely, the South American Paleoindian Tradition (“TPSA” in Spanish) and the Andean Foliated Point Tradition (“TAPF” in Spanish) (Salcedo 2014).

TPSA populations are highly adaptable at both biological and cultural levels, being organized in small family groups (micro-bands) which split or merge depending on the environmental conditions, using their artifactual diversity to tame the variety of ecosystems they colonized; as example, their spear points were originally used to hunt Pleistocene mega-mammals, but then were used as harpoons for fishing or as knives to process minor prey’s carcasses during Early and Middle Holocene; their stone tools include bifacial preforms, lanceolate points, plain-convex scrapers (limaces), choppers, and other coarse unifacial artifacts (Salcedo 2014: 201). TPSA cultural complexes in Central Andes are the following (Salcedo 2014: 279–299):
  • Paiján Complex (formerly “Chivateros Complex” on the central coast) (11,000–5100 years Cal. BC): Sites 9, 17, 27, and 29 (Uceda 1992) (Casma, Ancash); Tres Piedras PV35-3 (León 2002) (Huarmey, Ancash); Piedra Roja PV44-Q/01, Quebrada Huachoc PV44-H/01, and Quebrada Silla PV44P/39 (Goldhausen et al. 2008); Cerro de los Chivateros PV46-27, Pampa de Piedras Gordas PV45-28 and 29B, Cerro Cruxent PV45-45, 48, 49, 50, and 51, Cerro Monturita PV45-66, 67, and 70, and Estancia Luz PV45-72, 83, 84, and 85 (Lanning 1963; Patterson 1966; cf. Bonavia 1982) (northern Lima); and early occupations at Tablada de Lurín (Cárdenas 1981; León 1999; Ramos de Cox 1969) and Cerro Tres Marías (Cárdenas 1981) and Quebrada Cruz de Hueso 1–2 (Ugarte 2008) (southern Lima)

  • Santo Domingo Complex (8100–7400 years Cal. BC): Las Gaviotas and Evidence F3-E023d at Cerro Grande (Salcedo 2014, in press) (Cañete, Lima); Pozo Santo (Bonavia and Chauchat 1990), Paracas 14a VI-3, Visitantes 14a VI-96, and Pampas de Santo Domingo 14a VI-514 (Engel 1966) (Paracas, Ica); and San Nicolás SN3-4, 6-12, 15-25, EA-1 to 63 and Pampa Choclón PC1-2 (Salcedo 2015) (Marcona, Ica)

  • Huaylas Complex (11,000–9000 years Cal. BC): Quishqui Puncu (Lynch 1967), Cueva del Guitarrero (disturbed Levels III–IV) (Lynch 1980), and Tecliomachay and Huachamanmachay (Malpass 1986) (Ancash)

  • Junín Complex (9000–7400 years Cal. BC): Pachamachay (Levels 31–32) (Rick 1980) and Telarmachay (Level VIIb) (Lavallée et al. 1995) (Junín)

  • Mantaro Complex (11,000–8100 years Cal. BC): Jaywamachay (Levels J and G) (MacNeish et al. 1980, 1981) (Ayacucho)

  • Ayacucho Complex (16,300–13,400 years Cal. BC): Pikimachay Ac 100 (Levels h, h1, and h2) (MacNeish et al. 1980, 1981; Yataco 2013) (Ayacucho)

Otherwise, the TAPF presents a pan-Andean distribution, although their sites are more frequent in the central highlands of Peru and semiarid northern Chile; it emerges as a tradition of hunter-gatherers fully nomadic adapted to the highlands, the intermontane and coastal valleys, and the lomas; but then they turn into a gradual sedentarism, leaving their generalized strategies by another, more selective ones, with the subsequent domestication of plants (especially squash and beans) and animals (camelids, guinea pig), with the consequent adoption of pastoralism and incipient horticulture; their stone tools are characterized by the widespread presence of small willow leaf (“foliated”) points along the entire sequence, along with a handful of fossil index artifacts (very diagnostic, but scarce items of brief permanence in the archaeological record) that change from one period to another (e.g., points with ailerons and eventually serrated margins in early phases were replaced by geometric shapes, first triangular and then rhomboidal in later phases), facilitating their chronological ordering (Salcedo 2012b, 2014: 367, 370, 372–393).

It should be noted the Chilca Complex sites produced the first semisedentary settlements in the region, consisting of semicircular dwelling structures held by poles, and covered by vegetable fibers or possibly animal leather, defining living spaces with diaphanous activity areas (cooking, burial, etc.), while its lithic industry is characterized by elongated leaf points and the necessary equipment for fishing and harvesting of marine resources (such as shell hooks, harpoon barbs, plus strings, and textiles elaborated on vegetable fiber); finally, the dead were carefully buried in mats, inside or near their huts (which were abandoned and demolished after the funeral), accompanying them with various offerings (Salcedo 2014: 423–427). TAPF cultural complexes in Central Andes are the following (Salcedo 2014: 372–393, 423–427):
  • Mongoncillo Complex (5100–4600 years Cal. BC): Mongoncillo 1251 IV-15S-1b, El Calvario PV32-1, and Cerro Negro PV32-2 (Malpass 1986) (Casma, Ancash)

  • Lauricocha Complex (10,500–1700 years Cal. BC): On the coast: Huaynacoto PV44-P/20 (Goldhausen et al. 2008), Cerro Arenal PV45-71 and 72A, Pampa del Canario PV45-31–35, 37–39, 58, and 89–93, and Cerro Corvina PV45-20, 30, and 65 (Lanning 1963; Patterson 1966) (northern Lima); Tablada de Lurín (Cárdenas 1981; León 1999; Ramos de Cox 1969), Cerro Tres Marías (Cárdenas 1981; Salcedo 2012a), Evidences F2-E133a,b and F2-E136a,b (Asia); and Cerro Grande 1–4, Hacienda La Merced 1–2, and Pampa del Vituco 1–3 (Salcedo 2012b, 2014, in press) (southern Lima). On the intermontane valleys: Quishqui Puncu (Lynch 1970), Cueva del Guitarrero PAn 14–102 (Complex II), and Callejón de Huaylas PAn 8–126, 12–51, 12–53, 12–57, and 12–58 (Lynch 1980) (Ancash); Jatunushco and Perjaypata (Ravines 1965) (Huánuco); and Ayamachay Ac 102 (Stratum VII), Jaywamachay Ac 335 (Strata J–C), Pikimachay Ac 100 (Levels h–f), Rosamachay Ac 117 (Level D), and Puente Ac 158 (Levels XIIA–IC) (MacNeish et al. 1980, 1981) (Ayacucho). On the highlands: Uchcumachay 1–2 and Lauricocha 1–2 (Phases I–III) (Cardich 1958, 1964) (Huánuco); Quiqché and Tres Ventanas 1–2 (Engel 1988) (Lima); and Pachamachay (Phases II–IV) (Rick 1980), Acomachay, Cuchimachay, Telarmachay (Phases VIIa–IV) (Lavallée et al. 1995; Wheeler 2000), Panaulauca (Rick and Moore 2000), and Uchkumachay-Tilarnioc (Strata 4–6) (Kaulicke 1980, 2000) (Junín)

  • La Esmeralda Complex (4600–2800 years Cal. BC): La Esmeralda CAH 88 (Isla 1990) and Las Brujas (Ferrando 2011) (Nazca–Ica)

  • Chilca Complex (9900–1700 years Cal. BC): Quebrada Cruz de Hueso 3–4 (Salcedo in press), Cerro Pucusana 12B-VII-908, Chilca 1 12B-VII-1, Chilca 20 12B-VII-20, Lapa Lapa 2 12B-VII-93, La Paloma 12B-VII-613 (Benfer 2000; Engel 1988; Quilter 1989), and Cerro Calcarí 6 (Salcedo 2012b, 2014, in press) (Chilca, Lima) and Cabezas Largas 14A-VI-I and Pampas de Santo Domingo 14A-VI-514 (Engel 1966) (Paracas, Ica)

Classical Research

Here, the better known research are briefly explored, organized according to both cultural traditions previously mentioned (TPSA and TAPF), and listed from north to south, starting from the coast and continuing through the highland.

For TPSA in Central Andes, the coastal sites are distributed between two complexes. First, the widely distributed Paiján Complex, which in the Casma valley (Ancash) includes six sites: 1251 IV-8V-1, a small basalt workshop (250 m2), where two Chivateros-type preforms and numerous flakes were found; and Campanario 1252 III-27M-2b, which includes a fairly large area (4800 m2), divided into three units that were used as workshops for white sandstone, finding numerous Chivateros-type preforms, plus bifacial pieces in retouching process for obtaining Paiján-type spear points (Malpass 1986); there are also Sites 9, 27, 29, and specially Site 17, Unit 2, where an area of 60 m2 was excavated finding a lot of unifacial artifacts (retouched flakes, knives, and denticulates) associated with Paiján-type points (Uceda 1992). In the Chillón valley (northern Lima), there are two major sites: Cerro de los Chivateros PV46-27, a quarry located on the north bank of the river basin, where two strata with numerous bifacial blanks and Chivateros-type preforms were found (Lanning 1963; Patterson 1966), an occupation that was dated in 10,750–9800 years Cal. BC; also at Estancia Luz PV45-84, a small excavation was conducted, finding some food remains, besides lithic artifacts, including two lanceolate points (Lanning 1963), an occupation that was dated in 6450–5280 years Cal. BC. Second, for Santo Domingo Complex, there is Pozo Santo 14b IV-45, not far from the Paracas Bay (northern Ica), a quarry which produced several Chivateros-type preforms at different stages of reduction, although neither associated points were found nor datable organic material (Bonavia and Chauchat 1990); also, there are excavations in the open-air sites of Paracas 14a VI-3, Visitantes 14a VI-96, and Pampa de Santo Domingo 14a VI-514, where various lanceolate points were recorded (Engel 1966), one of these occupations being dated in 8450–7500 years Cal. BC.

Meanwhile, highland sites of this tradition are divided into three originally unnamed complexes, recently named by Salcedo (2014: 294–297). First, Huaylas Complex consists of a handful of settlements in the Cordillera Negra (Ancash) including Quishqui Puncu (3040 masl) open-air site, excavated by 2 × 2 m units until covering 370 m2, and recovering two fragments of Fishtail-type point from the Unit L and several basal fragments of lanceolate points from other units (Lynch 1970); Cueva del Guitarrero (2580 masl) shows a partially disturbed stratigraphy (Lynch 1980); Huachanmanmachay (4500 masl) and Tecliomachay (4500 masl) caves are characterized by the presence of stemmed points of triangular blade and rough manufacture, along with several utilized flakes, notches, burins, and so on (Malpass 1986). Second, the Junín Complex includes Pachamachay Cave (near San Blas, Junín), Phase I, which produced some triangular projectile points with slightly concave base (Rick 1980), associated to a date of 9400–7500 years Cal. BC, while Telarmachay rock-shelter (near San Pedro de Cajas, Junín), Level VIIb, produced few artifacts, standing out a pentagonal projectile point with notched base (Lavallée et al. 1995), associated with a date of 8250–7650 years Cal. BC. Third, the Mantaro Complex is represented by the Jaywamachay Ac 335 cave (Ayacucho valley, a tributary of the Upper Mantaro River, Ayacucho), whose Levels J3 and J2 produced three incomplete obsidian points (which seem to correspond to the Lake Madden [Panama] and Fishtail types), as well as a pentagonal point made of basalt from Level G (MacNeish et al. 1980, 1981), dated in 10,700–8500 years Cal. BC.

For TAPF in Central Andes, sites are divided into four complexes, three of them purely coastal, while the latter is both highland and coastal one (from the puna to the lomas). First, the Mongoncillo Complex consists of 38 sites (including Mongoncillo 1251 IV-15S-1b) arranged on a long knoll in the Casma coast (Ancash), where the existence of foliated points was reported (Malpass 1986); additionally, there are El Calvario PV32-1 and Cerro Negro PV32-2 sites, dated in 5210–4790 years Cal. BC (see Salcedo 2014). Second, La Esmeralda Complex is represented by La Esmeralda CAH 88 site, which produced domestic contexts of two superimposed structures formed by walls of quincha (canes covered with mud mortar), and in one of them, there was the burial of an adult woman associated to shell (Argopecten purpuratus) offerings, basketry, and some lithic artifacts, including three foliated points (Isla 1990). Eight dates obtained correspond to 4550–3600 years Cal. BC.

Third, Chilca Complex is composed of several settlements recorded along the coast and the lomas south of Lima, including two sites in the lower Chilca valley: La Paloma site (12B-VII-613) is arranged on the homonymous loma and consists of a series of mounds and household waste midden covering, 15 ha; excavations revealed more than 40 semicircular dwelling structures – raised with willow posts (Salix sp.), tied with vegetable fibers, and covered by herbs – within which there were 251 human burials associated to foliated projectile points, fishing artifacts (shell and cactus spine harpoons, nets, ropes, lithic counterweights, buoys made from pumpkins, etc.), diverse baskets, as well reed (Cyperus sp.) and totora (Typha angustifolia) mats (Benfer 2000; Quilter 1989). Twenty dates obtained span 7050–2100 years Cal. BC. Also, Chilca 1 (12B-VII-1) site covers about 2 ha, showing an unbroken succession of 16 cultural layers (1,5 m deep), with the presence of semicircular dwelling structures associated with human burials, domestic refuse of both marine and lomas origins, incipient agriculture products such as beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), numerous artifacts both lithic and vegetable fiber (basketry, cordage, and mats), bone tools, etc. (Engel 1988). Ten dates from East Sector span 4950–2650 years Cal. BC.

Fourth, Lauricocha Complex comprises sites of different types located from the highlands to the lomas, related to the process of domestication of plants and animals, with a lithic technology that is distinguished by small foliated points, accompanied by cores, flakes and various artifacts on flake, as well as occasional grinding tools and the development of the rock art (anthropomorphic and animal figures) and individual burials in shallow graves; 124 dates of this complex span 10,500–1700 years Cal. BC (Salcedo 2012b, 2014). Among the most important sites can be mentioned two highland sites:

Telarmachay rock-shelter (4420 masl), near San Pedro de Cajas (Junín), is the preceramic locality most systematically excavated in Central Andes; French Archaeological Mission – led by Danièle Lavallée – began explorations at the site in 1974 with a small 0.6 × 0.5 m test pit, revealing the existence of at least five stratigraphic units; then, between 1975 and 1980, an area of 35 m2 was excavated showing eight cultural layers, of which the lower five were preceramic, where a large amount of food waste was found, basically skeletal remains of cervids and camelids associated to lithic artifacts (Lavallée et al. 1995). Shelter occupation was intensifying over time increasing the usable area: presence of traces of postholes surrounded by rocks advancing down the slope along the phases of occupation; in addition, the hearths are in marginal positions within the sheltered area, perhaps to avoid the smoke concentrating on the center of the rock-shelter; hide processing evidence was also found, as well as maintenance activities (food preparation, tool manufacture, etc.) (Lavallée et al. 1995).

Pachamachay Cave (4300 masl), near San Blas (Junín), was first excavated by Ramiro Matos in 1969–1970 by a 12 × 1 m trench arranged on the slope of the cave, recognizing 16 strata (3–13 were preceramic) containing lithic artifacts and great amount of bones (Matos 1975); diggings extended in 1973 by the German Peter Kaulicke, finding evidence of hearths, workshops, etc. (Kaulicke 2000). Later excavations were performed by American John Rick in 1974–1975, consisting in two areas of 3 × 3 m and 1 × 1 m, respectively (10 m2), identifying 33 and 27 layers, respectively; from the resulting 7 phases, the first 5 were preceramic (Rick 1980).

Lauricocha Complex was redefined in terms of calibrated radiocarbon chronology, the identification of four fossil index foliated points (with ailerons, triangular, or rhomboidal), and the definition of cultural traits for each stage (from Salcedo 2012b, 2014: 379):
  • Proto-Lauricocha Phase (10,500–7400 years Cal. BC): Presence of foliated points with small ailerons located in the lower third of the piece, setting a pseudo-peduncle; in the highlands low-density settlements in caves and rock-shelters appear, with evidence of little selective hunting of Holocene fauna (e.g., guanacos, white-tailed deer, and taruca or huemul), while in the coast small subgroups of hunters will eventually visit the lomas in search of preys (guanacos and white-tailed deer).

  • Lauricocha I Phase (7400–5900 years Cal. BC): Presents points with ailerons located in the middle third of the piece, with straight-converging sides apex, possibly serrated and pseudo-peduncle; in the highlands, the rational exploitation of the Holocene fauna (guanacos and white-tailed deer) is given, while on the coast, hunter subgroups visit more frequently the coastal valleys and lomas.

  • Lauricocha II Phase (5900–2800 years Cal. BC): Includes triangular points ranging from equilateral to isosceles, with straight-converging sides or amygdaloidal contour; domestication of South American camelids begins in the highlands, as well as experimenting with crops, both in the intermontane and the coastal valleys, where more stable base camps appear in the middle valleys, while during the coastal wet season, there is a regular use of the lower valleys and lomas, as well as the sandy beaches, with the consequent consumption of a limited variety of shellfish.

  • Lauricocha III Phase (2800–1700 years Cal. BC): Consists of short or elongated rhomboidal points, with straight or slightly convex sides and slightly rounded base; in the highlands, the domestication of camelids is well advanced, and there is an incipient horticulture, while on the coast, retreat of the Lauricocha Complex groups occurs (showing an abrupt drop in the consumption of marine mollusks), being displaced by the semisedentary Chilca Complex populations who settled on the littoral and presumably control access to seashore.

In sum, the hunter-gatherers of the Lauricocha Complex practiced the Binford’s collectors strategy, performing rotating movements between base camps located in the higher puna and logistics camps set in the lower puna and high valleys, while other groups established their base camps in the intermontane and coastal valleys, maintaining logistical camps in the lower valleys, with the consequent exploitation of lomas resources by the coastal groups (Salcedo 2012b). This coastal Lauricochean strategy was followed by his peers of Mongoncillo and La Esmeralda Complexes; and, on the other hand, the semisedentary populations of the Chilca Complex practiced the Binford’s foragers’ strategy, settling at the foot of the lomas, mostly exploiting marine resources, supplemented with some lomas resources.

Recent Research

In this section, the most recent works of the last two decades are exposed, and, usually, those do not appear are cited in the synthesis; this is partly due to the fact that such publications were made by young researchers and partly because the elapsed time has not allowed its widespread dissemination in academic circles, but also because at that time there were few events where information about Central Andes hunter-gatherers could be exchanged. All authors mentioned in this section are Peruvian, except where otherwise indicated.

Tablada de Lurín and Cerro Tres Marías

Tablada de Lurín is a plain within the Lomas de Atocongo, between Villa Maria del Triunfo and Villa El Salvador, south-central Lima (Salcedo 2012a). Previous research in the area between 1958 and 1988 by Josefina Ramos de Cox and Mercedes Cárdenas of the Riva-Agüero Institute (IRA-PUCP) reported three open-air sites with preceramic evidence, including both Paleoindian and foliated projectile points (Cardenas 1981; Ramos Cox 1969).

First site (originally “Area A” or “First Area”) is located at an elevation that dominates the center of the plain (290 masl; 12°11,2′ Lat.S; 76°54,9′ Long.W) and yielded lithic material with bifacial knapping of Chivateros type, along with the burial of a 10-year-old individual covered with red ocher, being dated in 9200–7700 years Cal. BC (GaK-1599); a sample from the shell midden of Sector 1 (Area 3) was dated in 6000–5670 years Cal. BC (PUCP-14), likewise, a sample of unknown exact origin, was dated in 5650–5050 years Cal. BC (GaK-1859), while the Grave 1 (Area 20), including a headless corpse associated to a puma or cougar jaw (Felis concolor), was dated in 2500–1900 years Cal. BC (GaK-2353) (Cárdenas 1981; see also Salcedo 2012a, 2014).

Since late 1991, work on this site (renamed “Sector SE-A”) was led by Polish archaeologist-naturalized Peruvian Krzysztof Makowski (PUCP), who in 1993 assigned Elmo León to conduct a thorough analysis of the lithic material recovered until 1994 (Salcedo 2012a), revealing two lines of the chaîne opératoire (operational chain of technical processes involved in step-by-step production, use, and disposal of artifacts), based in andesite-sandstone and chalcedony, although other possible lines include pebbles and silicified hematite (León 1999). In parallel, Makowski commissioned the excavation six 5 × 5 m units (150 m2) in a dense area within the Archaic occupation, which by then was estimated to cover at least 1,5 ha (15,000 m2) (Salcedo 2014). Initial three units were excavated by Hernán Carrillo in 1994–1995 and 1998, while the fourth was excavated by Elmo León in 1994, being the last two excavated by Polish Karol Karasiewicz and Katarzyna Barska-Piotrowska between 1995 and 1996 (Salcedo 2012a, b, 2014).

The interpretation of site stratigraphy is problematic due to soil formation processes in lomas and numerous intrusions caused by burials of the first millennium AD, but mostly because of the diversity of criteria used in its denomination (Salcedo 2014). Ramos de Cox’s lower occupations (Makowski’s Layer E) turned out to be “ghosts” caused by vertical migration of archaeological material (from overlying Makowski’s Layer D) through the numerous desiccation cracks crossing the strata (Salcedo 2012a, 2014). Layer D is a humic horizon of more than 1 m thick developed in the presence of lomas vegetation, which presents a number of overlapping ephemeral occupations, with activity areas (mollusk shell removal, consumption, or lithic reduction) structured around combustion areas (Makowski 1996 [cited in Salcedo 2012a: 35, 2014: 387]).

Second site (originally “Area B1,” now “Cerro Tres Marías” [CTM]) is located at the foot of Las Tres Marias hill (310 masl; 12°11,0′ Lat.S; 76°55,2′ Long.W), where Ramos de Cox commissioned Jaime Deza the excavation of two 10 × 10 m units (200 m2) in 1976–1977, recovering a lanceolate stemmed spear point of Luz type, associated with lithic débitage (waste by-products resulting from stone tool manufacture), hearths, and shell middens (Cardenas 1981); associated organic remains were dated in 9250–8600 years Cal. BC (PUCP-101) (Salcedo 2012b, 2014).

In 1995, following Deza’s visit to Makowski’s project, the latter commissioned Giancarlo Marcone digging a segmented trench of 50 m2 (“Sector NW-E”), located to the east of Deza’s area, which turned out to be sterile, so Makowski decided to intervene a new area (“Sector NW-D”) located closer and north of the original excavation of Deza and where Carrillo made a surface collection; finally, the excavation was commissioned to Luis Salcedo, using as a guide a profile exposed by heavy machinery work done months ago by the mayor authority (Salcedo 2012a, b, 2014).

Between December 1995 and April 1996, the excavation of Salcedo covered 23 m2 of approximately 40 m2 remaining site, revealing a sequence of 3 archaic phases embedded in a practically unaltered sediment matrix (due to better geomorphological conditions than those observed in the plain), making a total of nine ephemeral occupations (Fig. 2a), a sort of logistic camps, with the presence of various activity areas: lithic reduction and processing and discard of bones and mollusk shell remains, associated to combustion areas (well-defined hearths, but without stone structure) and dwelling areas (in Phase 3) constituted by small, semicircular compartments or “windbreaks” of very short use, made with small accumulation of common stones forming arcs, with equidistant gaps for the location of thin posts; within them or in direct association, some lithic artifacts were found: foliated points (Fig. 2b), plain cores, endscrapers, a sidescraper, and modified flakes, along with a significant amount of food waste (Salcedo 2012a).
Fig. 2

Cerro Tres Marías (CTM) open-air site. Field record and lithic artifacts. (a) Plan of the occupation surface of Subphase 3A (Layer D, Levels 7, 8, and 91), at the beginning of Late Archaic: 1 – Spatial distribution of lithic and organic remains regarding the windbreaks (Modified after Salcedo 2012a: Fig. 75); 2 – Record of improvised structures H3A-1–5 and other stones over the décapage surfaces (Modified after Salcedo 2012a: Fig. 88). (b) Unifacial artifacts of abrupt edge (on tabular block or flake): 1 – Double endscraper (Subphase 1B, Level 15); 2 – Simple frontal endscraper (Subphase 2B, Level 13); 3 – Snout endscraper or chopper (Subphase 3C, Level 2); 4 – Simple lateral endscraper (Subphase 3B, Level 6) (Modified after Salcedo 2012a: Fig. 124). (c) Unifacial artifacts of sharp edge (on flake): 1, 2, 3 – Modified débitage (Subphase 2A, Level 14; Subphase 2C, Level 12; and Subphase 3B, Level 5); 4, 5 – Backed knife (Subphase 1B, Level 16; and Subphase 2B, Level 13); 6 – Simple convex sidescraper (Subphase 2D, Level 11) (Modified after Salcedo 2012a: Fig. 125). (d) Projectile point preforms (on block) and foliated points (on flake): 1, 3 – Preforms fragments elaborated in andesitic tuff (Subphase 1A, Level 17; and Subphase 2C, Level 12); 2 – Preforms fragments elaborated in volcanic tuff (Subphase 2A, Level 14) (Modified after Salcedo 2012a: Fig. 128); 4 – Foliated point with ailerons in its middle third and serrated edges elaborated in red jasper, Lauricocha I/Arenal type (Subphase 1B, Level 15); 5, 6 – Simple foliated points elaborated in silicified hematite (Subphase 2C, Level 12; and Subphase 2D, Level 10); 7 – Incomplete foliated point elaborated in silicified hematite, probable Lauricocha II/Canario type (Subphase 2D, Level 10). (Modified after Salcedo 2012a: Fig. 131) (All images: Archive of the CTM/PATL Archaeological Project 1995–1996)

Lithic material recovered in this site consists of 1432 items, of which 1420 (99.16%) are chipped, belonging mostly to débitage (by-products of the knapping process) (1380; 96.37%) and being segregated in cores (9; 0.63%), unmodified flakes (86; 6.01%), and core or flake fragments (cassons/debris, respectively) (1285; 89.73%), while only 40 (2.79%) are tools (6 point preforms, 4 projectile points, 5 endscrapers, 2 knives, 1 sidescraper, 16 modified flakes, and 6 cassons/debris retouched a posteriori); it also has 12 (0.84%) non-chipped items, including hammerstones (11; 0.77%), and grinding stone (1; 0.07%) (Salcedo 2012a: 223–224, Appendix C).

It was possible to determine five lines of the chaîne opératoire: volcanic, meta-volcanic (andesitic tuffs and meta-andesites), silicified hematite, and to a lesser frequency sandstone and quartz. From rock types used for making artifacts, it becomes clear that raw material procurement radius is limited to the area of Tablada de Lurín, ruling out the possibility for long-distance transport, with the exception of a projectile point made of jasper, probably from the central highlands (Salcedo 2012a: Appendix D).

Among the organic remains exist macrobotanical remains and pollen samples that determine the presence of Cactaceae (cacti), Poaceae (grasses), and Solanaceae, among others (Salcedo 2012a: Appendices B and G). The 2528 malacological remains correspond to a minimum number of individuals equal to 1379, of which 1349 are the bivalve known as macha (Mesodesma donacium), with only 16 individuals of different species of clams and mussels, along with just 14 gastropods known as chanque (Concholepas concholepas) and little plates of a polyplacophoran known as chitón (Salcedo 2012a: 357, 362, Appendix F). Alto exist 2093 bone fragments of animals, including camelids like guanaco (Lama guanicoe), along with cervids like white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), plus some remains of lomas rodents and birds mostly charred, as well as both river and sea fish remains (Salcedo 2012a: 311, Appendix E).

Finally, a third site was accidentally discovered in the early 1970s, during works with heavy machinery, where Gonzáles del Río exposed an occupation that includes a burial of a dolichocephalic individual partially cremated (Burial 214), dated in 7250–6350 years Cal. BC (GaK-2470) (Salcedo 2014).

Quebrada Cruz de Hueso 1–4

Between 1996 and 2001, work was carried out in two open-air sites of the Quebrada Cruz de Hueso (440 masl; 12°19,7′ Lat.S; 76°40,1′ Long.W), located on an alluvial terrace at the foot of the Vigía hill, north of Lomas de Caringa, in Pampas de San Bartolo, Punta Negra (Lima, Lima). Both components are separated 0.5 km: a workshop of 500 m2 (with lithic material and some mollusk shells) and a camp of about 1000 m2 (a shell midden associated to grinding artifacts) (Ugarte 2008: 39, 41, 44). The workshop (Site 1) has four lithic concentrations (A: 23 × 7 m, B: 9 × 6 m, C: 7 × 6 m, and D: small, no data), being white quartz the predominant raw material, although in Concentration C brown quartz preforms were recorded. This area was divided into 500 units of 1 m2, with 29 being collected and 43 excavated to 10 cm depth (Ugarte 2008: 44–46). Moreover, in the camp (Site 2), four 1 m2 units (4 m2 in total) were excavated, reaching only 12 cm deep due to the presence of a caliche level (Ugarte 2008: 47).

In total, lithic material recovered in the site includes 19,584 chipped items, belonging mostly to débitage (19,548; 99.82%), being sorted in cores (10; 0.05%), flakes (1425; 7.28%), microflakes (13,039; 66.58%), and chips (5074; 25.91%), while only 36 (0.18%) are tools: point preforms (4; 0.02%), Paiján-type points on flake (27; 0.14%; 25 of them were incomplete, two were complete, and one of them appeared outside the grid area), sidescraper (1; 0.01%), and retouched flakes (4; 0.02%) (Ugarte 2008: 47–48).

In early 2003, during the construction of the Camisea Pipeline Project, Luis Salcedo and his team recorded two new open-air sites in the area (Salcedo in press): Quebrada Cruz de Hueso 3 (QCH3) (150 masl; 12°20,8′ Lat.S; 76°46,8′ Long.W) is a huge preceramic dwelling site covering an area of 1.2 km2, consisting of a series of shell middens (Fig. 3a) – where chanque (Concholepas concholepas) and a barnacle known as pico de loro (Megabalanus psittacus) predominate – as well as hearths and fullers on surface, associated with lithic workshops of basalt, quartz, etc., with the presence of hammerstones, débitage, and quartz foliated points (one of them was collected at 12°20,54′ Lat.S; 76°46,72′ Long.W) (Fig. 3b) and a possible burial area at the foot of a hill in southeastern quarter of the site; this site is better preserved than others in the area, because is flanked east and west by two small dry ravines, and its southern half is covered by tillandsias, which would have prevented erosion and the passage of all-terrain vehicles. Meanwhile, Cruz Quebrada West 4 (QCH4) (150 masl; 12°20,7′ Lat.S; 76°46,6′ Long.W) comprises two surface concentrations of malacological remains about 30 × 15 m each, separated by 20 m, with the presence of lithic material; the site was disturbed by Peruvian army artillery practices decades ago (Salcedo in press).
Fig. 3

Quebrada Cruz de Hueso 3 (QCH3) open-air site. The site and its artifacts. (a) General view of the surface of the site, showing the areas of shell midden, ash, and grinding tools. (b) Foliated point elaborated in quartz, probable Lauricocha II/Canario type; surface find. (Courtesy of TGP Exhibition Hall) (All images: Archive of the TGP Camisea Gas Pipeline Archaeological Project – Coast 2003–2004)

Tres Piedras

Tres Piedras PV35-3 quarry site (70 masl; 10°02,6′ Lat.S; 78°08,8′ Long.W) is a small outcrop of meta-volcanic andesite (originally described as “red porphyry”) of 20 m in diameter, located less than 1 km northeast of Huarmey town, on the Pampa Tres Piedras of Huarmey valley, the same that was recognized and collected by Bonavia in 1977, yielding 237 lithic pieces (León 2002: 331–332). Two decades later, this assemblage was analyzed by Elmo León (2002: 334), who determined the presence of 32 point preforms, 204 flakes, and a hammerstone. León (2002: 329) indicates the recorded preforms are largely “failed trials (…) which (…) do not directly reflect the Paijanean operational chain,” but were identified as “two successive knapping stages, compatible with minimum retouch pieces and the Chivateros–type preforms. Under a biface thinning criterion, it has been verified the knapper’s attempts of lithic reduction, leaving typical debitage for each stage.”

Las Gaviotas, Cerro Grande 1–4, Hacienda La Merced 1–2, and Pampa Del Vituco 1–3

In early 2003, during a survey for the coastal stretch of the Camisea Pipeline Project, several open-air sites with early evidence were located in San Vicente de Cañete (Cañete, Lima) (Salcedo 2014):

Las Gaviotas (LGav) site (95 masl; 12°57,7′ Lat.S; 76°29,7′ Long.W) is located in an area of dunes between hills above the (north) right bank of the valley of Cañete, halfway between the towns of Asia and San Luis de Cañete; it consists of two malacological concentrations associated to lithic material, being the largest and densest located east of the site (Salcedo in press); a small stemmed point of triangular blade, made of obsidian (Fig. 4), was recovered on the site’s surface (12°57,72′ Lat.S; 76°29,77′ Long.W) (Salcedo in press).
Fig. 4

Las Gaviotas (LGav) open-air site. Lithic artifact. Miniature lanceolate point of triangular blade, with serrated edges, asymmetrical shoulders, and small peduncle, prepared in obsidian; surface find. (Courtesy of TGP Exhibition Hall; Archive of the TGP Camisea Gas Pipeline Archaeological Project – Coast 2003–2004)

Cerro Grande 1 (CG1) site (150 masl; 12°59,5′ Lat.S; 76°27,8′ Long.W) is located on the (north) right bank of the Cañete valley, in a currently desert area, where a huge elongated dune was lying through the site splitting it into two sectors; the site is a wide dispersion of malacological material with the presence of high-density lithic material and where an area of 21,606 m2 was excavated (Salcedo 2014, in press). In Surficial and A layers, some projectile points of Lauricocha III/Corvina type (cf. Cardich 1958, 1964; Lanning 1963) were recorded, and between Layers B and D, several points of Lauricocha II/Canario type (cf. Cardich 1958, 1964; Lanning 1963) appeared, while in Layer G – a compacted ash matrix – typical points of the Proto-Lauricocha and Lauricocha I/Arenal type (cf. Cardich 1958, 1964; Lanning 1963) were recovered; this is the only known coastal site which presents the complete sequence of Lauricocha Complex’s four stages (Salcedo 2014, in press) (Fig. 5a).
Fig. 5

Cerro Grande 1 and 3 (CG1 and CG3) open-air sites. Lithic artifacts. (a) Foliated points: 1 – Incomplete foliated point with ailerons in its lower third, Proto-Lauricocha type (CG1B, U7BC/Capa G); 2, 6 – Foliated point with ailerons, Lauricocha I/Arenal type (CG1B, U7 BC/Layer G, and CG3B/surface find, respectively); 3, 7 –Foliated triangular points of convex base (Lauricocha II/Canario type; CG1A, U3A/Layer A, and Evidence F3-E023a/surface find, respectively); 4, 8 – Foliated rhomboid points, Lauricocha III/Corvina type (reference lost and CG3B/surface find, respectively); 5 – Foliated points with the maximum width in its lower third (CG1B, U7BC/Layer G). (Modified after Salcedo 2012b: Fig. 6, 2014: Fig. 154). (b) Miniature Fishtail-type point, crafted in red jasper, collected on the surface as Evidence F3-E023d. (Modified after Salcedo 2014: Fig. 109a; Photo: Courtesy of TGP Exhibition Hall) (All images: Archive of the TGP Camisea Gas Pipeline Archaeological Project – Coast 2003–2004)

Lithic material recovered at the CG1 site comprises 32,629 items. In Sector A (CG1A), there are 20,501 items (62.83% of the overall total), of which 19,714 are chipped (96.16% of sector’s total), belonging mostly to débitage (19,661; 95.90%) being sorted in cores (49; 0.24%), unmodified flakes (642; 3.13%), cassons (1465; 7.15%), and debris (17,505; 85.39%), while only 53 (0.26%) are tools (including 18 point preforms, 21 projectile points, 9 endscraper preforms, 18 sidescraper preforms, and 5 sidescrapers); it also has 787 (3.84%) non-chipped items, including manuports (710; 3.46%), blanks (16; 0.08%), hammerstones (16; 0.08%), spherical projectiles (9; 0.04%), polishers (22; 0.11%), grinding stones (3; 0.01%), straightener (1; 0.005%), and miscellaneous (10; 0.05%) (Salcedo in press).

Meanwhile, in Sector B (CG1B), there are 12,128 items (62.83% of the overall total), of which 11,950 are chipped (98.53% of sector’s total), belonging mostly to débitage (11,911; 98.21%) being sorted in cores (22; 0.18%), unmodified flakes (676; 5.57%), cassons (445; 3.67%), and debris (10,768; 88.79%), while only 39 (0.32%) are tools (including 16 projectile points, 11 endscraper preforms, 7 sidescraper preforms, and 5 sidescrapers); it also has 178 (1.47%) non-chipped items, including manuports (155; 1.28%), blanks (11; 0.09%), hammerstones (5; 0.04%), spherical projectiles (5; 0.04%), polishers (1; 0.01%), and miscellaneous (1; 0.01%) (Salcedo in press).

Cerro Grande 2 (CG2) site (95 masl; 12°59,4′ Lat.S; 76°28,3′ Long.W) corresponds to a dispersion of malacological and lithic material on a flat area at the bottom of a ravine partially covered by dunes, being very disturbed by the passage of vehicles (Salcedo in press).

Cerro Grande 3 (CG3) site (165 masl; 12°59,5′ Lat.S; 76°28,0′ Long.W) is a dispersion of lithic material on the side of a hill partially covered by dunes, defining two sectors very similar to each other in material and density; a surface collection yielded two leaf points (Fig. 5a) and a lithic debris (Salcedo 2014, in press).

Moreover, Cerro Grande 4 (CG4) site (70 masl; 12°59,4′ Lat.S; 76°28,5′ Long.W) is also a dispersion of lithic material on the side of a hill partially covered by dunes, defining two sectors very similar to each other, also being very disturbed by the passage of vehicles (Salcedo in press).

A few meters north of the CG4 site, Evidence F3-E023d (80 masl; 12°59,34′ Lat.S; 76°28,4′ Long.W) was recorded lying on surface: a miniature Fishtail-type point (Fig. 5b) of about 3 cm length, crafted in red jasper (Salcedo 2014, in press).

About 3 km south of Cerro Grande sites, in the former Hacienda La Merced area, lies a huge jasper outcrop, a quarry which was exploited by the ancient inhabitants of the area as well as the Cerro Grande; surface erosion has caused the surrounding hills to be covered with reddish detritus, which gives a burgundy color to the entire surface of that part of the valley (Salcedo in press). Registered sites are as follows:

Hacienda La Merced 1 (HLM1) quarry (70 masl; 13°01,3′ Lat.S; 76°26,0′ Long.W) is on low hills, with soft slopes being covered with lithic material – basically high-density debitage – although Sectors A, D, and E appear to be preceramic, the site was reoccupied during ceramic epoch, given the presence of simple terraces (Sector B), some late windbreaks (Sector C), and the occasional occurrence of fragments of pottery and textiles (Salcedo in press). Lithic material recovered in HLM1 site consists of 4432 items, of which 4398 (99.23%) are chipped, belonging mostly to débitage (4373; 98.67%) being segregated into cores (623; 14.06%), unmodified flakes (866; 19.54%), cassons (1566; 35.33%), and debris (1318; 29.74%), while only 25 (0.56%) are tools (23 endscraper preforms and 2 sidescraper preforms); it also has 34 (0.77%) non-chipped items, including manuports (10; 0.23%), blanks (19; 0.43%), grinding stone (1; 0.02%), and miscellaneous (4; 0.09%) (Salcedo in press).

Moreover, Hacienda La Merced 2 (HLM2) quarry-workshop (55 masl; 13°01,2′ Lat.S; 76°26,9′ Long.W) is arranged on a plain which shows concentrations of high-density lithic material (Fig. 6), where different stages of the production process of lithic artifacts (quarry and workshop) are appreciated, while at the hilltops surrounding the plains, possibly contemporary windbreaks were found (Salcedo in press).
Fig. 6

Hacienda La Merced 2 (HLM2) open-air and quarry site. Lithic artifacts registered in situ. (a) Sidescraper crafted in andesite; (b) Two artifacts produced in silex: 1 – Modified debris; 2 – Blade. (All images: Archive of the TGP Camisea Gas Pipeline Archaeological Project – Coast 2003–2004)

Finally, there are Pampa de Vituco 1, 2, and 3 sites: PV1 (160 masl; 13°14,2′ Lat.S; 76°16,9′ Long.W), PV2 (170 masl; 13°13,9′ Lat.S; 76°17,1′ Long.W), and PV3 (190 masl; 13°12,6′ Lat.S; 76°18,7′ Long.W); sites PV1 and PV2 are located on an plain, while the PV3 site is located in the northern and southern slopes of a hill; these are concentrations of lithic material located 35 km south of Hacienda La Merced, which include some nuclei, but mostly flakes and debitage made of jasper, being associated to malacological material (except at the PV2 site) (Salcedo in press).

Cerro Calcarí 6

In mid-2003, during rescue excavations carried out in the coastal stretch of the Camisea Pipeline Project, an area of 3321 m2 was dug at Cerro Calcarí 6 (CC6) open-air site (145 masl; 12°27,2′ Lat.S; 76°43,7′ Long.W), a village-cemetery located at the bottom of the Calcarí dry ravine, Chilca (Cañete, Lima) (Salcedo 2014). This new site is not very visible on the surface, being located 3 km southeast of La Paloma site (Benfer 2000; Engel 1988; Quilter 1989) and about 5 km north-northeast of the Chilca Pueblo 1 site (Engel 1988), and accordingly it presents similar evidences registering its four cultural layers (named A–D) (Fig. 7a): semisubterranean, round to oval dwellings raised by thin wooden posts and covered with vegetable fiber, associated to 25 human burials wrapped in mats crafted of plant fibers (Fig. 7b), presence of activity areas associated to hearths and ash dispersions, charred remains of animals and plants, and, in addition to plant material, malacological remains and lithic material (Fig. 7c) (Salcedo 2014, in press).
Fig. 7

Cerro Calcarí 6 (CC6) open-air site. Contexts and lithic artifacts. (a) North profile of unit U22; (b) Burial 4, adult male individual registered in unit U24 (Modified after Salcedo 2014: Fig. 172); (c) Foliated projectile points: 1, 2 – Points with ailerons (U26F/Layer D and U58B/Layer C, respectively); 3 – Triangular point (U32F/Layer B1); 4, 5 – Rhomboid point (U31B/Layer A and U1/Surficial, respectively); 6 – Point preform (U46/Layer C); 7 – Long foliated point (U39A/Layer C); 8 – Short foliated point (U31F/Layer B3). (Modified after Salcedo 2014: Fig. 173) (All images: Archive of the TGP Camisea Gas Pipeline Archaeological Project – Coast 2003–2004)

Lithic material recovered in CC6 site includes 1868 items, of which 1294 (69.27%) are chipped, belonging mostly to débitage (1265 items; 67.72%) being segregated into cores (5; 0.27%), unmodified flakes (285; 15.26%), cassons (274; 14.67%), and debris (701; 37.53%), while only 29 (1.55%) are tools (18 finished and 11 preforms, of which 20 are points, 4 are endscrapers, 4 are sidescrapers, and 1 is indeterminate); it also has 574 (30.73%) non-chipped items, including manuports (476; 25.48%), blanks (27; 1.45%), bludgeon or porra (1; 0.05%), fullers or batanes (4; 0.21%), mortar (1; 0.05%), grinding stones or manos (2; 0.11%), hammerstones (8; 0.43%), spherical projectiles (3; 0.16%), polishers (19; 1.02%), and miscellaneous (33; 1.77%), being the most used raw material basalt (31.0%), followed by quartz (10.3%) and quartzite (10.3%), with few obsidian (6.9%), diorite (6.9%), andesite (3.5%), and conglomerate (3.5%) (Salcedo in press). Although the site was not radiocarbon dated, lithic material is comparable to that of Chilca Pueblo 1 and La Paloma, about 6300–2500 years Cal. BC (Salcedo 2014).

Isolated Evidences at Lower Valley of Asia

In early 2004, during a survey for the coastal stretch of the Camisea Pipeline Project, near the Asia 2 site, located in the lower Omas valley, Asia (Cañete, Lima), four foliated projectile points (two triangular and two rhomboid) were discovered as isolated surface finds, registered as Evidences F2-E133a,b (Fig. 8a) and F2-E136a,b (Fig. 8b) (23 masl; 12°46′ Lat.S; 76°35′ Long.W), while cotton (Gossypium barbadense) fiber residues were recorded nearby (Salcedo 2014, in press).
Fig. 8

Surface finds in the Asia lower valley. Lithic artifacts. (a) Evidence F2-E133. 1 – Foliated triangular point, Lauricocha II/Canario type (F2-E133a; Modified after Salcedo 2012b: Fig. 5a, 2014: Fig. 153a); 2 – Foliated rhomboid point, Lauricocha III/Corvina type (F2-E133b; Modified after Salcedo 2012b: Fig. 5b, 2014: Fig. 153b [Drawing]). (b) Evidence F2-E136. 1 – Foliated triangular point, Lauricocha II/Canario type (F2-E136b); 2 – Incomplete foliated rhomboid point, Lauricocha III/Corvina type (F2-E136a). (All images: Archive of the TGP Camisea Gas Pipeline Archaeological Project – Coast 2003–2004; Photographs: Courtesy of Municipal Museum of Huaca Malena)

Piedra Roja, Quebrada Huachoc, Quebrada Silla, and Huaynacoto 1

At least four preceramic open-air sites, of camp-workshop type, were identified from successive surveys conducted in 2003–2009 in hills and ravines at the left bank of Chancay middle valley, 25–40 km east-northeast of Chancay City (Huaral, Lima) (Goldhausen et al. 2008. 139–149):

Piedra Roja PV44-Q/01 site (1050 masl; 11°36,6′ Lat.S; 76°57,4′ Long.W) is located on a colluvial terrace, near a dry riverbed, at the southern foot of the Huachoc hills; lithic material collected includes debris, several tools, as well as bifacial preforms and stemmed points, one of them having a heart-shaped apex (Goldhausen et al. 2008: 142).

Quebrada Huachoc PV44-H/01 site (1080 masl; 11°33,9′ Lat.S; 76°57,8′ Long.W) is located on a colluvial terrace, over the northern slope of Huachoc hills; lithic material collected consists of debris, flakes, sidescrapers, and a stemmed point of triangular blade made of crystalline quartz (Goldhausen et al. 2008: 142).

Quebrada Silla PV44P/39 site (1650 masl; 11°26,1′ Lat.S; 76°52,6′ Long.W) is arranged on the top of a flat, low hill, extending to the adjacent plains; lithic material collected is more varied than the other sites, including amorphous cores, flakes, denticulates, plain cores, sidescrapers, some perforators, heavy grindstones, a bifacial preform, and a stemmed point (Goldhausen et al. 2008: 143–144), noting that some of the plain cores are similar to the “discoidal scrapers” of Lanning (1963).

Finally, Huaynacoto 1 PV44-P/20 site (~1000 masl; 11°27,3′ Lat.S; 76°54,0′ Long.W) is located on the right bank of the Pacaybamba ravine, over a colluvial terrace placed at the foot of Viejo hill, which gives natural protection; the settlement consists of a set of small, semicircular residential structures of unworked stones and without mortar, arranged on terraces around a larger structure, although some of them were reused in ceramic epoch (Goldhausen et al. 2008: 149). Lithics were collected both inside and outside the structures and consist of cores (with or without platform), flakes (some retouched, other laminar), debris, choppers, thick endscrapers, plain cores, sidescrapers, knives, denticulates, a perforator, and some pounders, all made with a dark blue, medium-fine grain local rock (andesite?); also, there were preforms and finished points (including a triangular specimen of Lauricocha II type) made from blackish and whitish, fine-grained rocks (basalt and quartz?); in addition, some grinding stones were recovered (Goldhausen et al. 2008: 147, 149).

Las Brujas

Las Brujas rock-shelter (100 masl; 14°49,9′ Lat.S; 75°21,2′ Long.W) is located in the lower Río Grande valley (Nazca, Ica), being excavated in 2007 and 2010 by Gabriela Ferrando by two 12 × 2 m trenches, yielding in layers 3–5 several occupation surfaces associated to hearths, botanical and shrimp remains, mollusk shells such as macha (Mesodesma donacium), and scarce lithic material, basically debitage, along with some nuclei, manuports, and polishers on quartzite and basalt, totaling 166 pieces (Ferrando 2011). The two dates obtained (Erl-13246 and Erl-13245) cover the range of 3360–2620 years Cal. BC.

Pampa Choclón 1–2; San Nicolás 3–4, 6–12, and 15–25; and EA-01 to 63

In 1963, the American Gary Vescelius reported three foliated points, and a coarse endscraper, associated to a large shell midden located in the beach of San Nicolas Bay, Marcona (Nazca, Ica) (Salcedo 2014: 427). During an initial evaluation of the area, Fernando Fujita, Juan Paredes, and their team recorded several open-air sites over the adjacent plains of San Nicolás (SN1–5) and Pampa Choclón (PC1–16), some of which are preceramic (e.g., PC1 and 2, SN3 and 4, although PC1 and SN3 were reoccupied in late ceramic period) (Salcedo 2015).

In mid-2014, Luis Salcedo and his team recorded new areas with lithic material in the plain adjacent to the San Nicolás Bay (SN6–12, 15–25, of which SN6, 10–12 have preceramic occupations, as well as potsherds associated with late windbreaks made of unworked stones, while SN7–9, 15–25 are clearly preceramic) and also in the nearby plain of Pampa del Choclón (PC17–23, of which only the small workshop PC19 is preceramic) (Salcedo 2015). Additionally, new lithic areas within the sites previously reported were found, particularly in SN3–4 and PC1–2; the PC1E Sector (130 masl; 15°15,6′ Lat.S; 75°10,7′ Long.W) (Fig. 9a) is remarkable, where several items produced from different raw materials were recorded, but especially of quartzite, as a chopping tool (Fig. 9b), large quartzite flakes and blades – some made out of the outrepassé technique (Fig. 9c, d) – and a Chivateros-type preform (Fig. 10a-1) (Salcedo 2014: 291).
Fig. 9

Pampa Choclón 1 – Sector E (PC1E) site. The site and its artifacts. (a) General view of the site’s surface, showing the areas of secondary quarry of quartzite, basalt, and jasper. (b) 1, 2 – Front and side views of a chopping tool crafted on quartzite. (c) 1, 2 – Front and side views of a quartzite flake obtained with the technique of outrepassé. (d) 1, 2 – Front and side views of a basaltic rock blade obtained with the technique of outrepassé. (All images: Modified after Salcedo 2015; Archive of the SHP Marcona Mine Expansion Archaeological Project 2014–2015)

Fig. 10

Secondary quarry sites of Pampa Choclón PC1E, San Nicolás SN12B, and Evidences EA-43 and 46 of San Nicolás. Spear point preforms at different stages of knapping, all produced in different varieties of quartzite; surface finds. (a) Pieces in early stages of reduction. 1 – Chivateros-type preform (PC1E, Finding 1) (cf. Salcedo 2014: Fig. 109c); 2 – Early stage preform (SN12B, Finding 1). (b) Pieces in late stages of reduction: 1 – Probable Fishtail-type preform (Evidence EA-43q77); 2 – Probable Paiján-type preform (Evidence EA-46a20). (All images: Modified after Salcedo 2015; Archive of the SHP Marcona Mine Expansion Archaeological Project 2014–2015)

Given the need to make viable the expansion work of Marcona Mining Project and considering all the evidence recorded were laying on surface (30–435 masl; 15°13,3′–15°14,2’ Lat.S; 75°10,9′–75°12,7′ Long.W), the three-dimensional and photographic record and consequent systematic collection of lithic material (areas with potsherds and malacological remains were avoided according to the mitigation plan) in those portions of the San Nicolás landscape where the various mining facilities (for processing and transportation of iron ore) will be built are proceeded; for such goal, only medium- to low-density areas were selected – called each one “archaeological evidence” (or EA’s in Spanish), followed by a sequential numbering – separating them from other, high-density areas (which were defined as “sites”: SN6, SN7, etc.); it has been estimated that the different surface concentrations and dispersions of lithic material in San Nicolás cover about 21 km2 (Salcedo 2015, in press).

Such collection resulted in obtaining 17,362 chipped lithic items, each weighed and cataloged individually, of which a sample of 6537 items (37.65%) was thoroughly analyzed, belonging mostly to débitage (6470; 98,98% of the sample), being segregated into blade cores (11; 0.17%), flake cores (626; 9.58%), blades (59; 0.90%), flakes (4566; 69.85%), debris (671; 10.26%), and cassons (293; 4.48%); among the tools, sidescrapers (57; 0.87%) are relatively frequent, but endscrapers (16; 0.24%) and denticulates (3; 0.05%) are scarce, with the presence of various phases of point preforms (44; 0.67%), with some of them being quite large (Fig. 10a-2), being remarkable, while more advanced items in the reduction process seem to correspond to Fishtail point type (Fig. 10b-1) or to Paiján point type (Fig. 10b-2) (Salcedo 2015: 148–150). The large average size of the point preforms from Marcona even surpasses that recorded in Cerro Chivateros, which until then held the record, regarding the size of Casma specimens and those of the original Paiján area of the north coast (cf. León 2002: 331).

Polished material is too scarce, limited to a broken hoe and a cylinder (totaling 0,05%); all mentioned lithic material comes from San Nicolás area, except a point preform and a chopping tool from Sector PC1E (Salcedo 2015: 148).

The most common raw material is by far quartzite and its variants (totaling 82.57%), while among the siliceous rocks, varieties of jasper (8.03%) are included, with silex (1.51%) and chert (0.21%) being scarce; among siliceous materials, there are chalcedony (0.52%) and milky quartz (0.03%), being both scarce, while among volcanic rocks, andesite predominate (4.74%), followed by basalt (1.82%), rhyolite (0.32%), and dacite and its variants (0.16%), with diorite (0.02%), granodiorite (0.02%), and granite (0.02%) being very few; additionally, there has been a piece of magnetite ore (0.02%) as well as two pieces of unidentified raw materials (0.03%) (Salcedo 2015: 148).

San Nicolas lithic industries are mostly primary, carrying out the initial work of reducing the blanks (quarry facies), which in vast majority are regular- to large-sized pebbles, with large pebbles of basalt and quartzite being used as hammerstones, as well as green or yellow jasper nodules, some of which show traces of percussion like extremely large flake negatives; thus, the existence of two clearly defined lines of the chaîne opératoire was determined: those that produce flakes and those that produce blades (Salcedo 2015: 148).

Cross-References

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Further Readings

  1. Blackwell, P.G., and C.E. Buck. 2008. Estimating radiocarbon calibration curves. Bayesian Analysis 3 (2): 225–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kelly, R.L. 2013. The lifeways of hunter-gatherers: The foraging spectrum. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 375 p.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academic-Professional School of Archaeology, Faculty of Social SciencesNational University of San Marcos (UNMSM)LimaPeru
  2. 2.Laboratory of Archaeological Materials (LAMA), National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru (MNAAHP)Ministry of CultureLimaPeru

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marcel Otte
    • 1
  1. 1.Service of PrehistoryUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium