Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Las Vegas: Environmental Archaeology of an Early Site in Coastal Ecuador

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2136


At the end of the Pleistocene, the Las Vegas people developed an adaptation focused on a wide variety of marine, estuarine, and terrestrial resources in the Pacific littoral of today’s Ecuador. While they may be classified as broad-spectrum foragers, hunters, and fishermen, they initiated an enduring pattern of plant cultivation, figured among the earliest cultivators in America, and participated in the domestication of useful plant species in the Neotropical region while progressively intensifying both fishing and horticulture. The Las Vegas adaptation has been reconstructed from a wide variety of evidence found in 32 archaeological sites in the western part of the Santa Elena Peninsula (SEP).

The chronological framework for interpreting Las Vegas evidence is based upon 30 radiocarbon dates (Stothert et al. 2003; Table 1). These form a coherent series, and agree well with independent stratigraphic interpretations. Deep preceramic midden in Site 80 permitted the...
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Further Reading

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  2. Lavallée, D. 2000.The first South Americans. The peopling of a continent from the earliest evidence to high culture. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  3. Meltzer, D.J. 2009.First peoples in a New World, colonizing Ice Age America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. Morrow, J.E. & C. Gnecco. 2006. Paleoindian archaeology. A hemispheric perspective. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA