Articles

 

Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 70, núm. 1, 2018, p. 1‒19
http://dx.doi.org/10.18268/BSGM2018v70n1a1

Climate change and peopling of the Neotropics during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

Guillermo Acosta1,*, Laura E. Beramendi2, Galia González3, Iran Rivera4, Itzel Eudave4, Elisa Hernández4, Serafín Sánchez4, Pedro Morales2, Edith Cienfuegos2, Francisco Otero2

 1 Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Mexico.
2 Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Mexico.
3 Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Mexico.
4 Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Periférico Sur y Zapote s/n. Col. Isidro Fabela, 14030, Mexico.

* This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract

Santa Marta cave, Chiapas, is a unique archaeological site with high-resolution chronological control and continuous human occupation since 12500 cal BP. In this work we report a correlation between human activity and climate conditions inferred from sedimentological, palynological, archaeozoological and stable isotopic analyses with the aim of assessing the late Pleistocene and early Holocene environmental conditions faced by the first settlers in tropical America. Results suggest that the late Pleistocene and early Holocene periods of abrupt climatic change (ACC), the Younger Dryas and the 8.2 ka event, are recorded in the rock shelter, and coincide with the two main periods of human occupation. The data suggest that these ACC periods were both cold and moist. Human activity had a limited impact at the local or regional level, over a changing environment during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, though there is some evidence for the introduction of exotic species.

Keywords: Abrupt Climatic Change, Anthropocene, Chiapas, Neotropics.