8047 - Cultural Evolution and Demography in the Argentine Puna

Humans colonized the highlands of Northwestern Argentina, the puna region, during the Pleistocene- Holocene boundary. The archaeological record suggests that these first dispersive populations where small in size, and occupied the higher quality local habitats. The technological evidence of these human occupations shows an small rate of cultural innovation during the first four millennial followed by an increase in the rate of technological innovation during the beginnings of mid-Holocene. Interestingly, in these times although appear a significant signal of cultural differentiation at the regional scale. These processes of cultural evolution are associated with an increase in population size, suggesting that the increase in cultural innovation and differentiation can be explained by population growth and particularly by the increased fitness of the individuals leading to larger local populations.

Keywords: Puna of Argentina, Cultural Evolution, Natural selection of cultural Variation, Demography, Cultural Innovation

Author: Muscio, Hernán (CONICET-UBA, Argentina / Argentinien)


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