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Pollen Records of Guila Naquitz Cave

James Schoenwetter
American Antiquity
Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr., 1974), pp. 292-303
DOI: 10.2307/279589
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/279589
Page Count: 12
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Pollen Records of Guila Naquitz Cave
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Abstract

Pollen recovered from the sediments of Guila Naquitz Cave, Oaxaca, is compared with pollen representing modern ecological patterns in the Valley of Oaxaca. This allows the reconstruction of both vegetational and climatic patterns for the period of preceramic occupancy of the cave: roughly, 6000-8000 B.C. A generally cooler yet more xeric climate apparently prevailed, as had been suggested by faunal analyses at Coxcatlan Cave near Tehuacan, Puebla. However, the floral and faunal resources available near the cave today were available there at the time of occupation. Pollen representing a plant that is closely related to modern maize is recognizable from the pollen record. The distribution of this pollen among the samples, as well as the macrofossil remains associated with the pollen and the reconstructed ecological pattern, indicate that the maize-like plant was being cultivated.

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