The Role of the Panamanian Land Bridge during the Initial Colonization of the Americas. (News & Notes)

By Pearson, Georges A.; Cooke, Richard G. | Antiquity, December 2002 | Go to article overview

The Role of the Panamanian Land Bridge during the Initial Colonization of the Americas. (News & Notes)


Pearson, Georges A., Cooke, Richard G., Antiquity


Since 1999, an on-going survey project in Panama has succeeded in locating traces of late Pleistocene--early Holocene humans who colonized the Americas. To date, our investigation has focused on three environmental zones found on the Pacific side of the continental divide--the highlands, the interior and the coast. The goal of this project is to link the early archaeological records of North and South America which still remain isolated on many levels. Although some Palaeoamerican lithic assemblages from North and South America show clear technological similarities, the historical, genetic and even chronological relationships between these early populations are still the subjects of debate. Fortunately, the narrowness of the Isthmus of Panama and its axial location between the continents afford an uncommon advantage for archaeologists trying to understand north--south relationships between the larger land masses. Our main objective was to find stratified occupations containing diagnostic tools normally associated with either north or south Palaeoamerican groups and determine how these compared, both technologically and chronologically, with their respective homologues on opposite continents.

The survey began around take La Yeguada, at an elevation of 650 m (FIGURE 1). This area was chosen for study based on the results of pollen cores taken from the lake, which contained large amounts of particulate carbon dating around 11,000 BP and attributed to human disturbance (Piperno et al. 1990; Bush et al. 1992). The survey identified several early sites around the lake's shore as well as 10 quarry/workshops, various lithic raw material sources and rock-shelters in the immediate area. Diagnostic artefacts included scatters of bifadal thinning flake, finished points and broken performs.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Next, we located an ancient quarry/workshop in the middle of the Azuero Peninsula. The Nieto site is associated with a large quartz vein that juts out of a small hilltop. Both surface collections and excavations were carried out at the quarry (FIGURE 2). Charcoal samples were not recovered due to the shallowness of the deposits and the risk of contamination from on-going slash-and-burn cultivation next to the site. Nevertheless, Clovis-like point performs (FIGURE 3a) and other diagnostic tools found among the manufacturing debris indicate that Palaeoamericans frequently visited this source to procure translucent stone.

[FIGURES 2-3 OMITTED]

Finally, we excavated at Cueva de Los Vampiros which is situated on an inselberg, approximately 3 km from the mangrove-lined coast of Parita Bay. The cave appears to be part of a complex of cavities and interconnecting tunnels that have dug into this isolated geological feature. The site was first discovered 20 years ago during the Proyecto Santa Maria survey (Cooke & Ranere 1984). Although initial test pits did not find any diagnostic artefacts, the discovery of bifacial thinning flakes associated with a date of 8560[+ or -]160 (Beta-5101) showed promise.

New excavations between January and May 2002 have now revealed the existence of a fluted point occupation at the base of its cultural deposits (FIGUREs 3b, 4). Thus far, only a few charcoal samples have been analysed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of the Panamanian Land Bridge during the Initial Colonization of the Americas. (News & Notes)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.