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Paleoindian sites from the Basin of Mexico: Evidence from stratigraphy, tephrochronology and dating

Gonzalez, S and Huddart, D and Israde-Alcantara, I and Dominguez-Vazquez, G and Bischoff, J and Felstead, N (2015) Paleoindian sites from the Basin of Mexico: Evidence from stratigraphy, tephrochronology and dating. Quaternary International, 363. pp. 4-19. ISSN 1873-4553

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Abstract

We present new data on the stratigraphy, dating and tephrochonology at the most important Paleoindian sites in the Basin of Mexico. These include: a) Peñon Woman III, with the oldest directly radiocarbon dated human remains (10,755 ± 75 BP); b) Tlapacoya, with two human crania dated to just over 10 ka BP; c) Tocuila, an important mammoth site with incorporation of fossils and suggested bone tools within the Upper Toluca Pumice (UTP) lahar (volcanic mudflow). The Tocuila site also includes potential evidence for a layer associated with the Younger Dryas meteorite airburst, with charcoal, iron microspherules, micro-tektites (melted glass) and volcanic ash, dated to 10,800 ± 50 BP and d) the Santa Isabel Iztapan mammoths I and II with lithics of Scottsbluff, Lerma and Angostura types and obsidian prismatic blades but lacking the characteristic fluted Clovis type points normally associated with mammoth kills and butchering and dated after the Pumice with Andesite (PWA) layer between 14,500 BP and 10,900 BP, before the Younger Dryas interval. These results show that these lithic traditions in Central Mexico are older than in the Great Plains of USA. Several tephra markers are recognised in the sites that help to constrain the stratigraphy and dating of the archaeological sequences. However tephra reworking in marginal lake sites is present and has been carefully considered, especially for the PWA tephra.

Keywords
Late Pleistocene; Mexico; Tephra; Dating; Mammoths; Paleoindians

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0406 Physical Geography And Environmental Geoscience, 2101 Archaeology, 0403 Geology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
School of Education
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 16:09
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 11:09
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.03.015
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3138

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