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

Disspain, Morgan C.F., Ulm, Sean, Santoro, Calogero M., Carter, Chris, and Gillanders, Bronwyn M. (2017) 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. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 12 (3). pp. 428-450.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Accepted version) - Accepted Version
Download (886kB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2016....
 
2
117


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.

Item ID: 44692
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1556-1828
Keywords: Caleta Vitor; Camarones Punta Norte; coastal Atacama Desert; fishing; otolith; zooarchaeology
Funders: University of Adelaide (UA), Australian Research Council (ARC), Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT), Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYTás)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP110100716, ARC FT100100767, ARC FT120100656, FONDECYT 1150763, CONICYTás Pograma de Investigación Asociativa (PIA) Anillo project Código SOC1405
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 01:12
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 117
Last 12 Months: 19
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page