Prehistoric reef-building coral occurrence in north Peru
The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
Late Pleistocene, Huaca Prieta, Pocillopora coral, El Niño
Discovery of a late Pleistocene (∼13,300 cal BP) reef-building coral species (Pocillopora damicornis) at the prehistoric Huaca Prieta settlement in Peru raises the question of its origin. Did it arrive in northern Peru from tropical Ecuador via larval dispersal in south-flowing El Niño currents or over land by human trading? The Holocene distribution of Pocillopora in the eastern Pacific extends as far south as southern Ecuador and possibly northern Peru. The marine climate during the late Pleistocene was cooler and likely limited the occurrence of corals at today’s latitudinal range. This suggests that overland or onshore transport was the most likely means of a southerly introduction, thus supporting interpretative models of early human movement along the Pacific coast of South America.
Peter W. Glynn, T. D. Dillehay, P. J. Netherly, and Bernhard Riegl. 2022. Prehistoric reef-building coral occurrence in north Peru .The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology . https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1264.