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Thesis Defense, Taylor J. Panczak, “Exploring Inter-Zonal Connections Through a Constructed Projectile Point Typology From Cuncaicha Rock Shelter”

May 7, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Exploring Inter-Zonal Connections Through a Constructed Projectile Point Typology From Cuncaicha Rock Shelter

Taylor J. Panczak

Cuncaicha rock shelter and the Pampa Colorada (PC) coastal archaeological sites demonstrate evidence of an inter-zonal Paleoindian settlement system in southern Peru. Cuncaicha Rockshelter (4480 masl), located in the Pucuncho Basin of the Central Andes, contains multiple, well-stratified components and initial occupation sequences dating to the Terminal Pleistocene. Many of the hundreds of projectile points contained within the site are made primarily of local Alca obsidian. On the Pacific Coast, temporally-unconstrained Pampa Colorada sites contain lithic evidence of a highland connection, through obsidian sourced to the highland Alca source. The intent of this thesis is to investigate the relatedness of the coastal and highland sites through a constructed projectile point typology, as well as propose a relative dating method for coastal sites.

The results from this thesis show that these sites are strong related through a shared projectile point material culture in the Early Holocene and Late Holocene. Point types (n=17) that are shared between the sites are morphologically and metrically similar. Additionally, Pampa Colorada projectile points that are typable using the Cuncaicha typology are frequently made from Alca obsidian (n=62.9%). Five types (n=32) from Pampa Colorada have been identified that are not found at Cuncaicha. These types are also primarily made from Alca obsidian (n=62,5%, 20). Finally, this study has found that projectile points are still useful as a tool for cross-cultural comparisons and as a relative dating technique.


May 7, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


155 Baker Hall