The introduction of the bow and arrow in the Argentine Andes (29–34º S): A preliminary metric approximation

  • Silvina Celeste Castro Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
  • Lucía Yebra Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
  • Erik Marsh Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
  • Valeria Cortegoso
  • Gustavo Lucero Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

Abstract


The study size patterns in projectile points (n=39) from six sites in the Argentine Andes (29–34°S) associated with 17 radiocarbon dates with medians spanning 3080–470 cal BP. This is the region’s first attempt to metrically distinguish arrows and darts, which is based on shoulder or maximum width, following Shott. The northern part of the study area (29°S) includes the earliest arrow point, slightly after 3080 cal BP. This suggests a rapid spread of this technology from the central Andes 16–26°S, where early arrows are dated ~3500–3000 cal BP. However, at 32 and 34°S, arrows are not clearly present until 1280 cal BP. For 1280–400 cal BP (European contact), 96% of points were identified as arrows, suggesting the bow and arrow replaced spear-based weapon systems. A single late dart from 34°S may reflect a late use of this space by hunter-gatherers. The predominance of arrows beginning at 1280 cal BP is associated with broader changes such as demographic growth, reduced mobility, low-level food production, and herding economies, following similar trends in other regions.

Author Biographies

Silvina Celeste Castro, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

CONICET
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (UNCuyo)
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEN)
Laboratorio de Paleoecología Humana (LPEH)
Mendoza, Argentina

Lucía Yebra, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

ANPCyT
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (UNCuyo)
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEN)
Laboratorio de Paleoecología Humana (LPEH)
Mendoza
Argentina

Erik Marsh, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

CONICET
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (UNCuyo)
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEN)
Laboratorio de Paleoecología Humana (LPEH)
Mendoza
Argentina

Valeria Cortegoso

CONICET
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (UNCuyo)
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEN)
Laboratorio de Paleoecología Humana (LPEH)
Mendoza
Argentina

Gustavo Lucero, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (UNCuyo)
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEN)
Laboratorio de Paleoecología Humana (LPEH)
Mendoza
Argentina

Published
15-Dec-2018
How to Cite
Castro, S., Yebra, L., Marsh, E., Cortegoso, V., & Lucero, G. (2018). The introduction of the bow and arrow in the Argentine Andes (29–34º S): A preliminary metric approximation. Journal of Lithic Studies, 5(2). Retrieved from http://journals.ed.ac.uk/lithicstudies/article/view/2969
Section
ISKM 2017 - Buenos Aires