Cultural transmission and correlational selection in Late Period projectile points from the Puna of Salta, Argentina (AD 900 – 1500)

  • María Varde Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Hernán Juan Muscio Universidad de Buenos Aires
Keywords: evolutionary archaeology; cultural transmission; highlands of Salta; projectile points; metric variation

Abstract


This work proposes a methodology for documenting metric patterns of trait correlation in Late Period (ca. AD 900-1500) projectile points from the Puna and pre-Puna of Salta, Argentina. In so doing, our main goal is to explain the patterns observed in terms of mechanisms of cultural evolution and selection. We apply this methodology to assemblages from four archaeological sites whose chronologies are well established. As a result, we were able to document low degrees of variation, as well as high co-variation between metrical traits, suggesting a process of correlational selection that preserved an artefact design with a structure of highly integrated traits. This lends support to the hypothesis where replication of these projectile points ocurred within a process of stabilizing cultural selection through biased transmission mechanisms, which in turn favoured the selection of artefacts suitable for effective weapons.

Author Biographies

María Varde, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Instituto de Arqueología
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Universidad de Buenos Aires
National Scientific and Technical Research Council - CONICET
Argentina

Hernán Juan Muscio, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Instituto de Arqueología
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Universidad de Buenos Aires
National Scientific and Technical Research Council - CONICET
Argentina

Published
15-Dec-2018
How to Cite
Varde, M., & Muscio, H. (2018). Cultural transmission and correlational selection in Late Period projectile points from the Puna of Salta, Argentina (AD 900 – 1500). Journal of Lithic Studies, 5(2). Retrieved from http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2784
Section
ISKM 2017 - Buenos Aires