Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/109200
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Type: Journal article
Title: Pre-Columbian fishing on the coast of the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile: an Investigation of fish size and species distribution using otoliths from Camarones Punta Norte and Caleta Vitor
Author: Disspain, M.
Ulm, S.
Santoro, C.
Carter, C.
Gillanders, B.
Citation: Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 2016; 12(3):428-450
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1556-4894
1556-1828
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Morgan C. F. Disspain, Sean Ulm, Calogero M. Santoro, Chris Carter and Bronwyn M. Gillanders
Abstract: The bountiful marine resources of the northern Chilean coast offset the extreme aridity of the Atacama Desert in pre-Columbian times, underwriting permanent human occupation, and providing the basis for a long tradition of marine subsistence. We analyzed fish otoliths (n = 549) recovered from the sites of Camarones Punta Norte (occupied ca. 7,000–5,000 years ago) and Caleta Vitor (occupied ca. 9,500–300 years ago) to investigate species distribution and changes over time. We also estimated the size of the fish based on relationships between otolith weight and fish total length (TL) obtained from modern samples of the predominant species, Sciaena deliciosa. The estimated size range of S. deliciosa from Caleta Vitor included fish that were significantly larger than those from Camarones Punta Norte, with the maximum TL (970 mm) almost double the modern maximum length documented. The fluctuating abundance of fish species and other marine taxa from Camarones Punta Norte indicates intense but sporadic use of the site over the span of occupation. In contrast, human occupation of the Caleta Vitor estuary is more continuous. Comparisons of the fish assemblages with a nearby contemporaneous site, Quebrada de los Burros in southern Peru, suggest that fishing technologies were similar along this section of the Pacific coast.
Keywords: Caleta Vitor; Camarones Punta Norte; coastal Atacama Desert; fishing; otolith; zooarchaeology
Rights: © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
RMID: 0030051481
DOI: 10.1080/15564894.2016.1204385
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP110100716
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FT100100767
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FT120100656
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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