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Tepexpan Palaeoindian site, Basin of Mexico : multi-proxy evidence for environmental change during the Late Pleistocene-Late Holocene

By Angela L. Lamb, Silvia Gonzalez, David Huddart, Sarah E. Metcalfe, Christopher H. Vane and Alistair W.G. Pike


The Tepexpan Palaeoindian skeleton was discovered in 1947 close to the former Lake Texcoco margin, in the Basin of Mexico. The find has been the object of considerable interest and discussion over the last 60 years regarding its real age and archaeological interpretation. Here we report new AMS radiocarbon dates associated with the sedimentary succession at Tepexpan with ages between 19,110 ± 90 and 612 ± 22 14C years BP and a new uranium-series date for the skeleton with an age of 4700 ± 200 years BP that indicates a mid Holocene age. The sedimentary succession was studied in detail using: stable isotopes, diatoms, organic geochemistry and tephrochronology. The multi-proxy evidence suggests large changes around the margins of Lake Texcoco in terms of the balance between aquatic and terrestrial plants, C3 and C4 plants, saline, alkaline and freshwater conditions, volcanic activity, marginal reworking of lake sediments and input from the drainage basin through the late Pleistocene–late Holocene. These changes had large impacts on the prehistoric human populations living by the lake shores since the late Pleistocene in the Basin of Mexico

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.04.001
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:8150

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