6.3. Survey Results: Archaic Foragers Period (9000-3300BCE)

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This temporal period spans the calendar years ~9,000 - 3,300 BCE and includes the preceramic periods of Early, Middle, and Late Archaic, but it specifically excludes the preceramic "Terminal Archaic" time when pastoralism began to constitute an important part of the economy. The Archaic Foragers period in the Upper Colca region refers to the time that begins with the first diagnostic artifact production in the region through to the adoption of a predominantly food-producing economy with the Terminal Archaic. This discussion will consider the first peopling of the region as well, although data from surface survey cannot address those events directly for lack of diagnostic materials. Survey results show that during this time all three survey blocks were important parts of the local economy, but the puna rim area of Block 2 appears to have presented the greatest opportunities for foragers.

In reviewing the survey results below, Archaic components encountered during survey are isolated by the following characteristics:

(1) The presence of lithic reduction debris

(2) The natural shelter potential or other locational characteristics

(3) An absence of ceramics

(4) The presence of projectile points diagnostic to an Archaic chronological period

(5) An absence of late (Series 5) projectile points

As was previously mentioned, because of the high incidence of multicomponent occupations at large sites in this volcanic region, it is relatively difficult to isolate the archaic component of larger sites.