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New Publication: Debating lithics from pre-colonial sites in Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela (AD 1000-1500)

Andrzej T. Antczak, Ma. Magdalena Antczak and Arturo Jaimes recently had a new chapter published in the volume "Multas Per Gentes et Multa Per Saecula" edited by Pawel Valde-Nowak and Marek Nowak. Read the abstract of the chapter below!

Abstract

This chapter presents the lithic materials systematically excavated from late pre-Hispanic sites in Los Roques Archipelago 135 km off the coast of Venezuela. In addition, it discusses their depositional contexts, possible functions and regional connections. The island sites are interpreted as temporary campsites seasonally occupied by Amerindian seafarers from the South American mainland, specifically from north-central Venezuela. The lithics represent a wide range of raw materials available on the continental coast and replicate morphological counterparts recovered in culturally related regions. Some hammerstones might have been useful for processing Lobatus gigas shell preforms and for bead- making. It is possible that locally available large petrified corals were used as metates and manos for grinding maize or coarse salt or both. The conspicuous depositional characteristics of some serpentinite microaxes and pendants suggest their possible ritual character as votive offerings. Serpentinite may be indicative of wide exchange networks that are poorly known. Further analyses are necessary to better understand the role of lithic materials in insular sites and to later incorporate this data into a broad perspective of the circum-Caribbean's indigenous past.

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