Caballete is one of several large Late Archaic sites in the Pativilca and Fortaleza Valleys in the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru. Excavations by Jonathan Haas, Winifred Creamer and their colleagues from 2002-2008 at 13 sites recovered very early evidence of maize as well as other domesticates and animal and fish remains. Their work focused on radiocarbon dating samples from stratified domestic refuse at two sites in particular: Huaricanga and Caballete in the Fortaleza Valley. Maize from these sites is represented by both macroremains and microremains including phytoliths, starch grains, and pollen (Haas et al. 2013; Creamer et al. 2007). Some of the macroremains are directly dated, while most of the microremains are indirectly dated.

Located the Fortaleza Valley, 8 km inland from the Ocean, the Caballete site consists of a major "U-shaped" architectural complex with six platform mounds arranged around a plaza. Haas et al. (2013) conducted excavations in residential complexes in order to find evidence of subsistence practices at the site. Caballete produced a number of directly dated maize macroremains, maize pollen from soil samples, and other microremains including starch and phytoliths from various contexts, including stone tools.

ID Other ID Type Subtype Uncal BP (years) ± 1 σ (years) Median cal BP (years) Lower cal BP (years) Upper cal BP (years) δ13C Contaminated?
AA-95585 MicroSample starch grain 4011 41 4435 4566 4250 No
AA-84573 MicroSample phytolith 3935 40 4325 4429 4156 No
GX-32724 MacroSample stalk 2380 40 2342 2486 2158 -11.6 No
GX-32723 MacroSample stalk 2360 40 2320 2455 2155 -11.6 No
AA-95572 MicroSample pollen 3839 41 4185 4405 3994 No
AA-95577 MicroSample pollen 3879 38 4247 4411 4098 No
AA-95568 MicroSample pollen 3872 69 4236 4423 3991 No
AA-95585 MicroSample pollen 4011 41 4435 4566 4250 No
AA-95571 MicroSample pollen 3700 40 3982 4143 3856 No
GX-32726 MicroSample pollen 4020 41 4449 4569 4289 No
AA-95567 MicroSample pollen 3892 41 4270 4415 4102 No
AO-775 MacroSample stalk 2245 15 2243 2310 2128 No

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References Cited

Creamer, Winifred, Alvaro Ruiz and Jonathan Haas
    2007    Archaeological Investigation of Late Archaic Sites (3000-1800 B.C.) in the Pativilca Valley, Peru. Fieldiana Anthropology 40 1-78.

Haas, Jonathan, Winifred Creamer, Luis Huamán Mesía, David Goldstein, Karl Reinhard and Cindy Vergel Rodríguez
    2013    Evidence for Maize (Zea mays) in the Late Archaic (3000-1800 B.C.) in the Norte Chico Region of Peru. PNAS Early Edition:1-5.