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Humans in the Amazon basin 10,000 years ago

29 August 2013

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/plos-hsm082313.php … new research has found some previously unknown archaeological sites in the Bolivian Amazon. Hundreds of small forested mounds of earth, considered to be termite mounds, have turned out to be shell middens going back to the early Holocene era. Freshwater snails, small animal bones and charcoal are the main ingredients. The oldest layers consist almost entirely of snail shells. An overlying later layer was composed of organic material which contained pottery, bone tools, and even human remains. The two layers are separated by a thin layer rich in burnt clay and earth. C14 analysis dates the shells between 10,400 and 4500BC. The paper can be found at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0072746 … and http://everyone.plos.org/media. The title of the paper is 'Early and Middle Holocene Hunter Gatherer Occupation in Western Amazonia: the Hidden Sheel Middens' in PLoS ONE 8 (8) e72746

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