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The Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization: A Reconsideration of the Evidence

J. Scott Raymond
American Antiquity
Vol. 46, No. 4 (Oct., 1981), pp. 806-821
DOI: 10.2307/280107
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/280107
Page Count: 16
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The Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization: A Reconsideration of the Evidence
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Abstract

Moseley's contention that coastal Peruvian civilization was founded on a maritime subsistence economy is challenged, and the evidence that he used to substantiate his claim is re-examined. It is argued that: (1) the number of calories represented by the faunal remains in the late preceramic sites of the central coast is too few to have supported more than a simple hunter-gatherer society; (2) the potential productivity of the agricultural food plants present in the preceramic sites has been grossly underestimated; (3) biases in the preservation of sites and of food remains in the sites have not been considered sufficiently in drawing conclusions from the data; and (4) when considered in relation to the hydrology of the Peruvian coast, the distribution of the late preceramic sites indicates a dependence on flood-plain agriculture.

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