Topic ID #27729 - posted 3/19/2013 3:25 AM

Human occupation in South America by 20,000 BC: The Toca da Tira Peia site, Piaui, Brazil.

Charlie Hatchett


When and how did the first human beings settle the American continent? Numerous data, from archaeological researches as well as from palaeogenetics, anthropological and environmental studies, have led to partially contradictory interpretations in recent years, often because of the lack of a reliable chronological framework. The present study contributes to the establishment of such a framework using luminescence techniques to date a Brazilian archaeological site, the Toca da Tira Peia. It constitutes an exemplary case study: all our observations and measurements tend to prove the good integrity of the site and the anthropological nature of the artifacts and we are confident in the accuracy of the luminescence dating results. All these points underline the importance of the Toca da Tira Peia. The results bring new pieces of evidence of a human presence in the north-east of Brazil as early as 20,000 BC. The Toca da Tira Peia thus contributes to the rewriting of the history of the peopling of the American continent.

Fig.5. Lithic artifacts from Toca da Tira Peia. a) Artifacts on quartzite pebbles from level C4. b) Up: layer C6a convergent retouched edges tool on quartzite pebble. Down: layer C6a denticulate tool on siliceous limestone flake (retouched on lower face). c) artifacts on quartzite pebble from the C7a layer. Up: Bifacially shaped tool.

C. Lahaye et al. Human occupation in South America by 20,000 BC: The Toca da Tira Peia site, Piaui, Brazil. Journal of Archaeological Science. Doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.02.019.

Charlie Hatchett


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