The Altiplano constitutes the most extensive, high-elevation terrain in South America. Most archaeological research on the earliest human occupation of this region in the Bolivian Andes derives from sites such as Viscachani where the emphasis has been on typological comparisons of projectile points, rather than on complete and radiometrically dated assemblages. In this paper, we present survey and excavation data from the Iroco region in the Central Altiplano of Bolivia to address questions related to the adaptive strategies engaged by Archaic Period highland foragers. Specifically, we focus on the nature of mobility, subsistence, and technological strategies, stemmed from principles in human behavioral ecology. Based on data from radiocarbon dates, lithic, and faunal analyses, we suggest that, similar to other mobile foraging societies in arid environments, highland foragers in Iroco engaged in seasonal residential mobility, consumed a broad range of faunal resources, and developed a curated technological toolkit within the context of ameliorated environmental conditions that prevailed during the early Holocene (11,500–8000 cal BP).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth-Surface Processes