Paleoindian Solar and Stellar Pictographic Trail in the Monte Alegre Hills of Brazil: Implications for Pioneering New Landscapes
Christopher S. Davis, Anna C. Roosevelt, William Barnett, J. P. Brown

In the last 50 years, archaeological finds from Amazonia have forced revision of some theories about human evolution. A common assumption had been that human evolution was restricted by environmental limitations which favored slow progression from simple, unspecialized, economically unproductive cultures to complex, specialized, and highly productive ones. This assumption has long influenced interpretations of human evolution in the humid tropics 1 4. It presumed that the first Americans would not have been broad spectrum foragers but instead big game hunters following herds from the Siberian steppes into similar American habitats 8.Only after those megafauna went extinct at the end of the Ice Age were people hypothesized to have developed agriculture in the dry, open vegetation valleys of the Central Andes and Mesoamerica, before finally migrating into the tropical forests and coastal lowlands 9. According to the environmental limitation theory, only cooler agricultural zones fostered conditions that gave rise to civilized achievements like math, astronomy, and calendars exhibited by the Maya, Aztec, and Inca. Hunter gatherers were notpredicted to need, nor deemed capable of devising such cultural achievements.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaa.v5n2a1