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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Despite various problems associated with the practice of zooarchaeology in the neotropics, archaeologists have recovered impressive evidence from caves and open air sites for early landscape management and food production in northwestern South America, a region renowned for harbouring elevated species richness and high rates of endemism. The trajectory for subsequent pre-Columbian cultural developments in the area was established very early through the precocious achievements of its earliest Holocene human occupations. Archaeobiological evidence is used to outline the subsequent development and elaboration of indigenous agricultural systems and trade networks up to their cataclysmic encounter with invading European populations in the early sixteenth century.

Keywords: zooarchaeology, northwestern South America, taphonomy, historical ecology, humanized landscape, pre-Columbian agroecology, holocene

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