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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690

Abstract

ARAUJO, ASTOLFO G.M.. On Vastness and Variability: Cultural Transmission, Historicity, and the Paleoindian Record in Eastern South America. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2015, vol.87, n.2, pp.1239-1258.  Epub Apr 28, 2015. ISSN 0001-3765.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201520140219.

Eastern South America, or what is today Brazilian territory, poses interesting questions about the early human occupation of the Americas. Three totally distinct and contemporaneous lithic technologies, dated between 11,000 and 10,000 14C BP, are present in different portions of the country: the Umbu tradition in the south, with its formal bifacial industry, with well-retouched scrapers and bifacial points; the Itaparica tradition in the central-west / northwest, totally unifacial, whose only formal artifacts are limaces; and the "Lagoa Santa" industry, completely lacking any formal artifacts, composed mainly of small quartz flakes. Our data suggests that these differences are not related to subsistence or raw-material constraints, but rather to different cultural norms and transmission of strongly divergent chaînes opératoires. Such diversity in material culture, when viewed from a cultural transmission (CT) theory standpoint, seems at odds with a simple Clovis model as the origin of these three cultural traditions given the time elapsed since the first Clovis ages and the expected population structure of the early South American settlers.

Keywords : Paleoindian; Lithic technology; Umbu; Itaparica; Lagoa Santa; Cultural transmission.

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