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A Review of Lynch's Descriptions of South American Pleistocene Sites

  • Ruth Gruhn (a1) and Alan L. Bryan (a1)

Abstract

The description of major South American Pleistocene sites by Lynch (1990) contains significant errors and omissions. The artifact assemblage at the Colombian site of Tibitó, dated at 11,740 ± 140 B.P., is much larger than indicated by Lynch and well represents the Abriense industry, which features small unifacially retouched flake tools and core tools, with no stone projectile points. Lynch did not describe the 1976 stratigraphic profile at the Venezuelan site of Taima-Taima, and he failed to refer to the evidence for butchering of the juvenile mastodon with which an El Jobo projectile point fragment and a utilized flake were associated directly. The descriptions of Brazilian sites also feature serious mistakes. For the site of Alice Boër, Lynch overlooked a thick sterile stratigraphic unit (Bed IV) that intervenes between Bed III, with its thermoluminescence dates as early as 10,970 ± 1020 B.P. and radiocarbon dates as early as 14,200 ± 1150 B.P., and the artifact-bearing surface of Bed V. For Lapa Vermelha, Lynch failed to indicate that several artifacts were recovered from an older cemented cave fill that yielded radiocarbon dates of 22,410 B.P. and > 25,000 B.P. Lynch’s description of the site of Toca do Boqueirào da Pedra Furada does not correspond to eyewitness reports, and his description of the nearby Toca do Sitio do Meio was incomplete and confused. Finally, in his description of the stratigraphy of the Patagonian site of Los Toldos, Cueva 3 Lynch misquoted and misconstrued the original reports, which indicate clearly the stratigraphic priority and integrity of the Level 11 industry. For accurate descriptions of early South American archaeological sites, readers are urged to examine the original sources.

Résumé

La descripción de los sitios Pleistocénicos más importantes en Sudamérica, escrita por Lynch (1990), contiene serios errores y omisiones. El conjunto artefactual del sitio colombiano Tibitó (11,740 ± 140 B.P.) es mucho más extenso de lo indicado por Lynch, representando Men la industria Abriense, la que incluye herramientas pequeñas fabricadas por retoque unifacial de lascas y núcleos, pero no tiene puntas de proyectil de piedra. Lynch no describió el perfil estratigráfico (1976) del sitio venezolano Taima-Taima, o mencionó la evidencia de la matanza de un mastodonte juvenil asociado con una punta de proyectil de tipo El Jobo y con una lasca con huella de uso. La descripción de los sitios brasileños también contiene errores serios. En cuanto al sitio Alice Boër, Lynch ignoró una unidad estratigráfica densa y estéril (Estrato IV) localizada entre el Estrato III, que tiene fechados de termoluminiscencia de 10,970 ± 1020 B.P. y fechados de 14C de 14,200 ± 1150 B.P., y la superficie del Estrato V, la cual contiene artefactos. Con relación a Lapa Vermelha, Lynch no indicó que varios artefactos fueron recuperados en el relleno cementado de una cueva más antigua, el que rindió fechas de 14C de 22,410 B.P. y > 25,000 B.P. La descripción del sitio Toca do Boqueirao da Pedra Furada no corresponde a los informes de quienes visitaron el sitio, y su descripción del sitio cercano Toca do Sitio do Meiofue incompleta y confusa. Finalmente, en su descripción de la estratigrafia del sitio patagónico Los Toldos, Cueva 3, Lynch citó incorrectamente y malinterpretó los informes originales, que indican claramente la prioridad e integridad estratigráfica de la Industria del Nivel 11. Si el lector desea descripciones exactas de los sitios arqueológicos sudamericanos tempranos, él debe examinar los informes originales.

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References

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A Review of Lynch's Descriptions of South American Pleistocene Sites

  • Ruth Gruhn (a1) and Alan L. Bryan (a1)

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