Archaeological silence and ecorefuges: arid events in the Puna of Atacama during the Middle Holocene

Núñez, Lautaro; Cartajena, Isabel; Grosjean, Martin (2013). Archaeological silence and ecorefuges: arid events in the Puna of Atacama during the Middle Holocene. Quaternary International, 307, pp. 5-13. Pergamon Press 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.04.028

[img] Text
Archaeological silence and ecorefuges.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (4MB) | Request a copy

This paper briefly summarizes presearch concerning the mid-Holocene in the western slope of the puna de Atacama (20–25°S). Proxy data and dates from palynological, limnological, geomorphological archives were compared with data recovered from the archaeological sites in high altitude basins, intermediate ravines and piemontane paleowetlands. Due to exceptionally favorable conditions, numerous Early Holocene archaeological sites were found. In contrast, the lack of occupations in previously populated areas suggests a decline in human activity during the arid mid-Holocene. In this context, two key concepts are introduced: ecorefuge or ecological refuge, and archaeological silence (silencio arqueológico). The first refers to the particular favorable locations occupied by human groups during the mid-Holocene. The second provides a better understanding about the impact of the arid interval during this period on human adaptations in the most barren territories of the New World.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleolimnology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Grosjean, Martin


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Pergamon Press




Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

18 Sep 2014 17:28

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:32

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback