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Climatic Oscillation as a Factor in the Prehistory of Amazonia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Betty J. Meggers
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560


The existence of climatic oscillations during the Quaternary in the Neotropics was inferred from the distributions and diversities of the modern flora and fauna. Recent data on soils, geomorphology, palynology, and paleoclimatology confirm the existence of periods of aridity and permit more accurate definition of their durations and impacts. A review of linguistic and archaeological evidence reveals patterns similar to those exhibited by a wide range of biological phenomena. The significance attached to these similarities depends on the theoretical paradigm by which they are judged.

Research Article
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 1979

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