Preceramic Period

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The earliest of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology, c 9000-1800 BC, starting with the first human occupation and ending with the introduction of ceramic artifacts. It is usually subdivided into six periods and is characterized by a variety of subsistence patterns and by a lack of ceramics. The first two periods (up to 8000 BC) represent a subsistence based on hunting. The third period, c 8000-6000 BC is seen as transitional from hunting to hunting and gathering. Period four c 6000-4000 BC had cyclical, seasonal migration. In Preceramic V, c 4000-2500 BC, the lomas dried up and people tended to be sedentary; agriculture supplied an increasing part of the diet. Large habitation sites, ceremonial centers and agriculture appear increasingly in Preceramic VI c 2500-1800 BC. There are lithic complexes in the Early Preceramic, followed by an Archaic Period with foraging populations and the beginning of domestic and ceremonial architecture. The Preceramic was followed by the Initial Period.