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Early High-quality Lithic Procurement in the Semiarid North of Chile

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  • Lithic Procurement
  • Quartz Crystal
  • Fishtail Projectile Points


arch-1.PMD Early High-quality Lithic Procurement in the Semiarid North of Chile César Méndez, Donald Jackson, Roxana Seguel, and Amalia Nuevo Delaunay ➤➤➤➤➤Keywords: lithic procurement, quartz crystal, fishtail projectile points The identification of high-quality quartz crystal as one of the main lithic resources used at the Quebrada Santa Julia campsite (Jackson et al. 2007; Méndez et al. 2007) motivated a regional search for potential procurement areas and functionally related sites. At Santa Julia, excavations uncovered a 13,100 CALYBP short-term occupation, where quartz crystal was observed to constitute ~40% of the chipping debris and fragments and was the material of two marginally retouched knives (of a total of eight retouched tools) and two César Méndez and Donald Jackson, Departamento de Antropología, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Chile, Ignacio Carrera Pinto 1045, Nuñoa, Santiago, Chile; e-mails: [email protected] [email protected] Roxana Seguel, Laboratorio de Arqueología, Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración, Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, Tabaré 654, Santiago, Chile; e-mail: [email protected] Amalia Nuevo Delaunay, Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, 3 de Febrero 1378, Buenos Aires, Argentina; email: [email protected] CRP 27, 2010 MÉNDEZ ET AL. 19 other bifacial artifacts. Of the latter, one is a fragment of a preform of a fluted projectile point that refits to bifacial-reduction flakes from the same occupa- tion floor. The exceptional quality of this rock, its evident association with megafauna at Santa Julia, and its presence at several other late-Pleistocene and early-Holocene sites across a wide region emphasized the importance of locating its source. Within the Semiarid North of Chile, Rivano and Sepulveda (1996) previ- ously mapped the regional occurrence of quartz in the inland localities of Caimanes (31° 56′ S) and Tilama (32° 05′ S), both ~35 km from the coast. Our research

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