Andean Forest

Sub-Andean forest

Forest-savannah ecotone

Lowland tropical forests

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Andean Forest

The cool Páramo dwarf forests and open grasslands of the Bogotá high Andean plateau presents some of the earliest evidence of humans in Colombia. A lithic industry at the Tequendama rock shelters dating to ~14.8 ka, features a projectile point fragment, scrapers, and thinning flakes from exotic raw materials, in association with brocket deer (Mazama americana), white-tail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and rodents (Cricetidae).

Within the same region, the Abriense, or EdgeTool Tradition, dates to ~13.6 ka during the warmer Guantavia interstadial when the region featured open Andean forest. Associated faunal remains suggest the processing of mastodons (Cuvieroniusand Haplomastodon), horse (Equus amerhippus) as well as deer (Odocoileus) and fox (Cerdoycon).

Sub-Andean forest

Sub-Andean forest sites (1700-2200 masl) of the Upper and Middle Cauca, Porce and Calima Rivers currently show evidence of humans from ~12.6 ka. These cultures are characterised by simple unifacial lithic industries and the appearance of plant processing tools, with the archaeobotanical record revealing an increasing reliance of plants.

Forest-savannah ecotone

The Serranía de la Lindosa (SLL) rock shelters, dating to ~ 12 ka, exhibit expedient unifacial lithic industries and spectacular painted rock art, likely representing the earliest artistic expressions of native Amazonians. The paintings depict humans interacting with vegetation, forest animals, and now extinct megafauna.

Lowland tropical forests

The earliest evidence of humans in the region currently come from the Pubenza site in the Middle Magdalena, where unifacial tools are purportedly associated with mastodon remains (Haplomastodon waringi), dated to 19.9 and 16.2 ka within a seasonal tropical forest context.

In the lowland rainforest site of Peña Roja along the Caquetá River, dating to 10.4 ka, there are used lithic flakes struck from pebble cores in addition to bifacial choppers, nutting stones and grooved axes.

The latter were likely used as implements to modify forest environments by opening up patches to sunlight to promote the growth of useful plants.

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