Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


Cliodynamics bannerUC Riverside

Evolutionary radiation of mid-Holocene lanceolate points from the highlands of the South Central Andes


Through phylogenetic reconstruction this work  analyzes the  diversification of  lanceolate points of the South Central Andes   which began in the early Holocene and spanned the entire mid- Holocene. Based on a regional-scale data, we   discuss the links between the increasing mid-Holocene risk conditions, the patterns of diversification of point lineages, demographic change and animal resources consumption. We distinguish a first instance of greater diversity of points, a higher rate of innovation and less class longevity. These trends progressively stabilized, giving rise to a pattern of  less innovation, decreasing taxa diversity  and greater class longevity as well as an age-related extinction pattern. We show that as projectile points diversified,hunting efficiency increased along the mid-Holocene by the increased representation of  high-return fauna in the regional zooarchaeological record.  We suggest that this diversification of  lanceolate points was an adaptive evolutionary radiation which began with the increase in the rate of innovation for coping with the increasing risk of the beginning of mid-Holocene in the South Central Andes. From this we conclude that technological innovation was a prerequisite for the human specialization in camelid hunting and for the development of a highly economically efficient foraging strategy in the south Andean  highlands

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View