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The Man's History in Venezuela 

 

Approximately 13.000 years ago before present, after a glacial era at world level arrived to our Venezuelan territory as they indicate the archaeological and paleontological evidences with all security, travelers of other lands, other cultures and with the tradition of the call age of the stone", they arrived maybe in search of better conditions of life. 

These " scanners " maybe taken by the adventure in search of new territories and probably after the prints of flocks of animals for the hunt; many of these great fauna have extinguished today and they were (according to the remains found in excavations) of great weight and of big dimensions. Some of these they weighed several tons, such it is the case of the Megaterio that in Latin Great beast means", this great one lazy terrestrial of approximately 3 to 5 m of height and of 2 to 4 tons weight, she had a herbivore diet that consisted seemingly on leaves and tubers (since they were also excavating), due to her colossal size, they didn't need to climb to the trees to eat up them, alone they had enough eguirse on her back paws or to demolish the trees to obtain her foods without more difficulty. 

 

In the specialized literature, these animals are known as part of the Megafauna, these big mammals extinct today, they had the particularity of weighing more than a ton, and of having enormous dimensions. 

 

Among the most important in these representatives we have to the Mastodons (of Latin: Teeth in forms of you Suckle). These they were married distantly with the elephants and other such fossil representatives as the mamuts; the Glyptodontes are also, these they were some big battleships with the dimensions of the roof of a Volkwagen", their bodies were protected of the depredadores by an enormous " shell ", their diet was herbivore, and their remains are frequently found in the places paleontological pleistocénicos (in its majority) of America to the south. 

 

Other exponents of same geographical distribution, were the American horses or Equus, these they were for this way to tell it ancestral representatives of today's horses in day, alone that these they extinguished behind between 7.000 and 10.000 years and they were reintroducidos in America of the south and in Venezuela in particular during the frequent trips of the Europeans, just as it happens at the present time. 

 

Other enormous animal, and one very curious it was: The Macrauchenia, this mammal of habits semiacuáticos and herbivore diet had characteristic and likeness at first sight in its anatomy to the body of a camel, and at the same time she/he had features in its face with those of a horse, however this it was an animal originating of America of the south; rigorous studies, suggest the presence of a trumpet that surely had functions so much smell as tactile, similar to that of the Dantas, probably of great efficiency for their breathing during their moments in the water; It is also believed that these they could have membranes among their fingers of their paws for a I swim efficient. 

.   

 

 They also had until that time, other animals already extinct they marauded our such territory it is the case of the Mixotoxodon larensis; an extinct animal originating of the state similar Lara to a rhinoceros, and that it probably also shared their habits. also other fossil remains of fauna pleistocénica like bears, feline and turtles have even been identified also. 

 

Now it is that you evidence in this country for investigators along more than 50 years it has demonstrated to the scientific community and the rest of the world that the south of America more than 10.000 years ago behind was the first men's home and of a very particular fauna; These first paleoaméricanos arrives in Venezuela first that to many other parts of the continent, at the end of the period pleistocénico, breaking up this way with the notion and the hypothesis that one had that the man's presence in North America was for older logic that for the rest of the America.  

 

thought by the North American investigators' ethnocentric reasons) since it is supposed that this men coming from the region of Siberia had crossed a natural bridge that united the strait of Bering during times glaciers taking them to the icy regions of the north of North America, from where this old American resident would be radiated supposedly by the whole America until the Patagonia 

 

Recent data suggest that, it is very probable that the American continent in the north, center and south was populated in different waves and different successive historical moments; It is also very discussed in that have not been in particular a single human group the first ones in to arrive and to populate American lands, since always it fits the possibility that these they could have had different origins; all this has to be demonstrated with convincing evidence, relating investigations in the field where they are carried out and excavations are continued with rigorous methodologies.  

 

However, we should not underestimate to these first ones aboriginal, since to be able to explore and to conquer these territories, seas and rivers, this travelers should have enough knowledge to adapt to new latitudes, and with absolute security they had a highly efficient and good technology to confront these big voyages that were autonomous with all security, this, of sure with the minimum resources. 

 

The technology, used by these available first human groups with all security era of vegetable and animal origin, they also had always matter cousin of mineral origin, this last era of a high value, since with these stony minerals of very fine grains they were carved and they made tools " stone " bifaciales, with those that confronted their basic necessities of subsistence. 

 

The trousseau with which these men probably traveled they consisted on basic elements carved in stone like knives, raspers, perforators flints to begin bonfires, maybe also took I get ends or rope pieces, non perishable foods for trips, a haversack or handbag to transfer these elements, possibly plants or cures for first aids", and it is not of missing some ritual element of protection, all this is mere speculation, but it is necessary to take into account this. 

 

The localization of devices of stone of cultural origin and of any evidence in the archaeological and paleontological registration are of great importance for our studies of the most remote past, and they are without a doubt of vital importance to understand and to recreate which the conditions paleoambientales went to those that these first Americans had to adapt. 

 

The art of to carve and to work the rock in all their form by means of the percussion and pressure until transforming it into such tools as projectile tips (you rush and arrows), knives, perforators and other devices were not easy thing and of sure they used them for their daily chores and very possibly for opens step through new territories to conquer. 

 

In the state falcon, in the places of the Muaco and of Taima Taima, (slaughter places) in the central coast they have been dug in very old springs of geologic origin the cultural and biological evidence that demonstrates that as much the man as this megafauna should very possibly have shared the same space storm and space. 

 

Also in the Estado Amazonas, in Puerto Ayacucho's surroundings they were dug by the middle of the years 90´s by investigators of the Instituto Smithsonian, it USES. Tools carved on mineral of Jasper approximately 9.000 years old, this series of discoveries have been carried out along the whole Orinoco, and along the national territory. 

 

  Prehispanic 

One of the goals of the archaeology is the reconstruction of the cultural history of the old 
towns. At a very general level, has been able to delineate a sequence of evolutionary 
development, in which the man begins in the very remote past as hunter-recolector with a 
very simple technology. After several millions of years of physical and cultural evolution, 
the man perfected his possibilities adaptativas to such a point that ended up populating all 
the regions of the earth, including the areas affected by the glaciaciones during the 
Pleistoceno. About 10.000 years ago, climatic changes began that drove slowly to the 
conditions current and many societies of hunters they had to adapt to a new nutritious 
régime due to the violent extinction of the megafauna. There was in this period of 
readaptation a tendency toward the use of new such resources as the marine, fluvial foods, 
you plant wild and smaller hunt. The man developed new technologies to improve the 
exploitation of these resources in the different ones half ambient (coast, desert, forest, 
savanna, mountain or forest). The observation of the cycles of life of the animals and 
vegetable, as well as the adoption of more sedentary habits, they allowed him the 
exploitation of certain abundant resources, as the mollusks and some wild grains. This also 
led to the experimentation with the agriculture and a slow process of domesticación of 
plants and animals. As consequence of this process, the population's marked increment, a 
bigger sedentarización, the establishment of villages and an increase in the technological 
trousseau was given that includes the appearance of the ceramic, the fabrics in loom and the 
work in metal. Later on, in certain areas of the world, there was a tendency toward the 
population's concentration in urban centers and the emergence of politically nested societies 
that were characterized by a monumental architecture, market economy, state religions, 
militarism and imperialism and such innovations as watering systems to great scale, it 
notarizes and astronomical studies. To facilitate the description of that type of the man's 
evolutionary development, several classificatory systems have been created that divide the 
history in stages, eras, ages or times. For Europe it is very well-known the outline that 
divides the cultural history in 5 stages: Paleolithic, Mesolítico, Neolithic, Age of Brass and 
the Age of Iron. In the New World, they have intended other similar outlines, just as that of 
Willey and Phillips: Lithic, Archaic, Formative, Classic and Post-classic. For Venezuela 
and the area Caribbean, other classifications have been formulated that reflect the character 
peculiar of the local archaeological evidences (in particular, the absence of remains 
corresponding to the Classic or Post-classic, that is to say, corresponding to state societies). 
In this work we will follow the formulation proposed by José María Cruxent and Irving 
Rouse in their work of 1961, an archaeological Chronology of Venezuela, of 4 stages 
denominated Shovel-Indian (20.000 to. C. -5.000 to. C.), Meso-Indian (5.000 to. C. -1.000 
to. C.), Neo-Indian (1.000 to. C.. -1.500 d. C..) and Indo-Hispanic (1.500 d. C. - it 
presents). We will also incorporate some of the approaches sketched by Mario Sanoja and 
Iraida Vargas in their book of 1974 Antigua formations and Venezuelan production ways 
that are good to refine the characterization of the different stages. We have pointed out 
some dates for each stage, but, nevertheless, it is necessary to keep in mind that they are 
approximate chronological divisions. In fact, if the stages like development levels are 
conceived, characterized by a way of predominant production (for example, hunter-
recolector or not industrialized agriculture) it is obvious that some «stages» they are rather 
contemporary, since they can still last in some areas, while in other innovations have been 
introduced. Such it is the case in Venezuela, where for the moment of the contact, some 
societies like the waraos they still maintained a subsistence based on the gathering, due to 
the wealth of wild resources that offered them the delta of the Orinoco, while other groups 
derived their main sustenance of the agriculture. However, neither it is convenient to adopt 
a vision «progressive» of the evolution, that which could take us to minimize the 
developments in aspects non materials of a society, such as the language, the cosmovisión, 
the mythology or the social organization, only for not possessing a sophisticated 
technology. The achievements so much materials as intangible of the aboriginal 
Venezuelans were the result of millennia of adaptation to their natural and social 
environment. It is in fact the interest of demonstrating the dynamics of the cultural 
historical process what has taken us to organize the prehispanic periods according to an 
outline of development stages instead of following a strictly chronological outline or for 
geographical areas. With this focus we will try the factors that impacted in the changes that 
happened through the time, to highlight be already of environmental nature as of character 
highly social. It is our goal to demonstrate the paper that the before Columbus populations 
from the current Venezuela carried out in the formation of the complex social reality that 
you/they found the Europeans when arriving to the New World. We hope to highlight that 
the innovation focuses and of cultural advance they changed through the time and that 
besides receiver, the Venezuelan earth was scenario of important contributions to the 
American cultural wealth. 

The Shovel-Indian: 20.000 to. C. - 5.000 to. C. 
This time has its beginnings with the man's entrance in the American continent from 
Siberia during the last glacial era. The American Asian proveniencia of the aboriginal ones 
is proven for genetic, linguistic evidences, osteológicas and odontológicas. Some recent 
investigations demonstrate, for example that the dental morphology of the autochthonous 
populations from the America has bigger relationship with that of northern Asian groups 
that with others of European origin. This same evidence supports a poblamiento in 3 
different waves: a very old corresponding to a first wave of hunters, another more recent 
one that is related with the Na-Dene (a linguistic group of the northwest of the United 
States and Canada) and a last migratory wave that corresponds to the Eskimo aleutianos 
who have the biggest physical similarity with their Asian relatives. 
The first of these migrations spread from the strait of Bering until the southern end of 
Suramérica in a long movement process and adaptation to new half-atmospheres. 
Seemingly, they were already evolved men, with enough technological knowledge to face 
the severe climatic conditions taken place by the glacial era: they had to know how to build 
refuges, to elaborate clothes and footwear adapted for the cold, to have knowledge has 
more than enough means of transport to cross the snow, ice and it dilutes, and to be able to 
be offered food and it even dilutes under the most severe conditions. To arrive in America 
from Asia, they could have taken advantage of the exposed earth bridge during one of the 
culminations of the last glacial period (approximately 70.000-10.000 years before the 
present), when the level of the sea was lower because the waters had been retained during 
the growth of the big masses of polar ice. On the other hand, it is possible that, just as it 
happened 50.000 years ago among the first residents from Australia, they could have used 
some craft type, to follow a route rather coastal. The technology that associates with this 
time consists mainly of stone instruments for the hunt and descuartizamiento of animals, 
although an industry based on bone, ivory and horn is the one that characterizes the oldest 
residents in the Beringia. It is logical to suppose that their trousseau included other 
elements manufactured in such perishable material as the wood, leather and fiber; however, 
the climatic conditions have not allowed its preservation. Many of these devices could give 
us information on the other activities of these first residents, such as the gathering and 
prosecution of wild foods, complementary to the products of the hunt, which are inferred 
starting from the observation of bands of hunter-recolectores current. 
The entrance date of the man to America is a controversial matter. Some investigators 
consider that evidence that has indicated the man's presence more than for 70.000 years in 
the area of Beringia exists. Other who doubt of the truthfulness of the found devices, or of 
their deposition context, they consider that the most acceptable dates are of the 20.000 year-
old order like maximum (the last glacial maximum has been dated consistently like around 
18.000 years before the present). The debate about the man's antiquity in America extends 
in turn to the field of the lithic technology. For the proposers of the thesis of the very early 
arrival, the American man would have for this time an instrumental one very rudimentary, 
associated to a strategy of wide and widespread subsistence that would include the hunt, the 
fishing and the gathering. These investigators conceive to the poblamiento like a slow 
process, in which the man spread to occupy an entire region before another environment 
type that requires new knowledge for the survival penetrating. The lithic evidence 
associated to this hypothetical stage, it has been denominated nucleus industry and lasca 
and it consists of stone devices made by percussion, that is to say, hitting a stone against 
other (the nucleus) in order to achieve a rough sharp edge, and at the same time, to obtain 
lascas that are good to cut and to rasp. These instruments were used, in turn, to manufacture 
other utensils, probably of bone or wood. They have been numerous locations with devices 
of this type in North, Center and Suramérica; however, due to the rudimentary aspect of the 
instruments, it has been doubted of their authenticity attributing to natural factors their 
appearance, or in other cases, suggesting that they represent results of a first stage in the 
factory of more sophisticated instruments that you/they were discarded to present flaws or 
errors. The hypotheses that favor the possibility of a very old poblamiento propose, also 
that the lithic technology had a local evolution in America, possibly with influences of later 
waves from Siberia, until perfecting the technique of the formation of devices with the 
technique of the pressure. With this technique, such forms can be obtained as the tips of 
projectile bifaciales (worked by both sides) that are so common in all America starting from 
14.000 years before the present. These are the first devices that the archaeologists that 
support the position of a late entrance, accept like unanswerable evidence of the man's 
presence in this continent. The poblamiento pattern that these archaeologists propose differs 
substantially of the one that describe previously, since in this case it is conceived rather as a 
process quick, in the one which the hunters specialized in the megafauna capture and with a 
technology of tips of extremely effective projectile, they would have continued their preys 
in a wave that took them from Alaska to Patagonia in less than 3 millennia. As consequence 
of the excesses of the hunters in the slaughter of their preys, cocktails with the climatic 
changes that marked the end of the last glaciación, had a massive extinction of the 
megafauna that marked the end of the time about 7.000-8.000 years ago Shovel-India. 
Just as in other parts of the continent, the conditions that prevailed in Venezuela during the 
Pleistoceno were very different to the current ones. The level of the sea was lower and in 
consequence, a bigger coast extension existed: inclusive, what today is Trinidad was part of 
the South American continent. Although they didn't exist in this part of the hemisphere 
masses of ice as those that occupied extensive areas of the north, the temperature it was 
lower and there was certain glacial formation in you Walk them and the mountain range of 
the Costa in Venezuela. has intended that there was considerable fluctuation as for the 
pluviosidad, which influenced so that regions that today in day is very arid, such as the 
coast of Falcon, has been more humid during the last glaciación, that which an abundant 
megafauna population favored. Among the megafauna copies already extinct that have been 
in Venezuela eremotherium sp they are counted., glossotherium sp., haplomastodon sp., 
equus sp. and glyptodon sp. On the other hand, they exist indications that the amazon 
region was subject to cycles of aridity and humidity during this same era, that which 
affected the distribution of the multiple fauna species and flora so characteristic of that 
area. As the man had to cross the isthmus of Panama to arrive by surface mail to 
Suramérica, it is not surprising that in Venezuela they have been some of the man's earlier 
evidences in the continent. 
Following the pattern proposed in 1983 by Alan Bryan, the first residents from Venezuela 
entered with a technology type nucleus and lasca made up of devices rudimentary 
unifaciales designed to work the wood, fiber, bone, leather and shell. Besides these nuclei, 
the lascas that were obtained when hitting the stones modified later to use them as knives 
and raspers. This technology was developed for the adaptation to the region of tropical 
forest of Panama, for that which well founded evidences are possessed. To the more migrar 
toward the east, stayed the same industry while the environment didn't vary. However, 
some of these men moved toward the northeast until arriving to the coast Caribbean, where 
they found big flocks of giant herbivores. The place of The Muaco (Edo. Falcon), dug by 
José María Cruxent, it has thrown 16.870 year-old dates before the present, for bones of 
burnt megafauna that were opposing near others that presented incisions seemingly made 
by the man when it used the bone like a platform to cut. When being in this new 
environment with abundant megafauna, the immigrant developed a new technology that 
allowed him to increase the effectiveness of her activity depredadora. This technological 
evolution is specially evident in the sequence of The Jobo (Edo. Falcon) just as José María 
Cruxent has interpreted it. In this place, located in the valley of the river Pedregal, they 
exist several geologic terraces that were formed in different times, which associate with 
devices lithic distinguishing characteristics, classified by Cruxent in 4 complexes: Camare, 
The Lagoons, The Jobo and The Houses. Seemingly these locations are since 
slaughterhouses the only opposing devices they were good for the hunt and 
descuartizamiento of the prey, without being associated with room remains neither 
cemeteries. The older weapons associated with the hunt (approximately 20.000-22.000 
before the present) and coming from this location and of others of Tree (Edo. Zulia) of 
Tupukén (Edo. Bolivar) they indicate the practice of a direct hunt in the one which several 
hunters, after isolating one or more animal, they would give them death with sharp sticks 
and to blows with devices of stone enmangados. It is also possible that these devices were 
employees for the extraction of roots and tubers. With the step of the time, the instrumental 
characteristic of the hunt was evolving, possibly as answer to a growing decrease in the 
fauna together to a human demographic increase that demanded more effective methods for 
the hunt. The new devices, or litos lengthened trianguloides, is typical of the complex The 
Lagoons (16.000-22.000 before the present); Cruxent shows off that bundles went in lance 
form or azagaya and they were used since for the hunt semidirecta its weight it facilitated 
the launching and the perforation of the leather of the animal. The following innovation in 
the lithic technology, associated with the complex The Jobo (16.000-9.000 before the 
present), it is the introduction of the projectile tip in dart form and the ingenious propeller 
that, acting like a continuation of the lever constituted by the arm and forearm, allowed a 
considerable increase in the speed, the precision and the reach of the projectile. With this 
invention a new hunt stage opened up at distance in which the man began to hunt in form 
singular and to take advantage of smaller and speedier new size species, such as the deer 
and the rodents. However, the megafauna continued being object of the hunt of these 
shovel-Indians, just as it indicates it the evidence coming from the place of Taima-Taima 
(Edo. Falcon). In this location they were similar devices to those of the complex The Jobo, 
in direct association with the skeleton of a young mastodon that was died and quartered in 
situ. The obtained dates of wooden fragments oscillate between 12.980 and 14.200 before 
the present. This demonstrates that a specialized technology for the megafauna hunt was 
present in Suramérica more than one millennium before the available evidence at the 
moment for a similar technology in North America, and suggests that an independent 
evolution of those 2 lithic traditions was given. The appearance of the arrow tips (around 
9.000 years before the present) in the complex The Houses that were used probably with 
the arch, reflective the climatic and environmental changes that culminated with the 
extinction of the megafauna and the man's rising necessity of looking for new nutritious 
sources. The arch and the arrow facilitate the hunt of small animals, birds and fish, preys 
that apparently were little exploded in previous times. 
The societies of this time were probably organized in bands made up of 100 to 500 people. 
These bands were integrated by microbandas, or extended families from 12 to 35 people, 
which were the basic social units; to each one of these enough mature men belonged (4-5) 
like to carry out hunt strategies in group, such as ambushes, pursuits, etc. Also, the men 
probably took charge of the factory of the stone instruments and of the other necessary 
devices for the camp. On the other hand, the women of the microbanda took charge of 
gathering fruits, seeds and roots to supplement the diet. They were also responsible for the 
upbringing of the children, the preparation of the foods and possibly the factory of the gear. 
Although nobody was entitled the of sending to the other ones, people bigger era very 
respected by their wisdom and knowledge. The oral tradition picked up this wisdom in 
form of myths and legends whose story, besides an entertainment, assured the preservation 
of the memory. Also the chamanes or specialists in ritual and cure, were worshipped 
members of the community. The microbanda moved alone most of the year, continuing to 
the flocks of the megafauna and exploiting the different sources of food vegetable 
according to the seasonal abundance. It is probable that in occasions they met all the 
microbandas for the celebration of certain rites and to share information about the hunt, 
gathering and, not less important, on the members and activities of the different 
microbandas and neighboring bands. These occasions served, also, to form marriages 
among members of different microbandas, since the exogamia (marriage outside of the 
community) it was common in this society type. This way of life, although nomadic, it 
provided a base of wide and varied subsistence. Studies recent envelope societies of hunter-
recolectores they demonstrate that with little work investment (an average of 4 daily hours) 
in activities of subsistence a diet is gotten balanced with an enough caloric content. 
However, a production way dominated by the extraction of wild resources imposes the 
constant mobility; this nomadismo avoids the on-exploitation of resources. For that reason, 
it is evident that the material culture of this society type is limited to what is easy to 
transport. Of equal it forms, this way of life is related with certain social measures that 
facilitate this mobility; among these they stand out the control of the natality to avoid a 
woman to have to load at the same time more than a son and the geriacidio and infanticide 
(old men death and small children) in cases of deformations or illnesses that impeded the 
normal transfer. In spite of their limited material culture, we have some evidence of aspects 
of the cosmovisión and artistic expression of these shovel-Indian societies. They have left 
us engravings in bone and stone with hunt scenes and of other episodes of the daily life and 
ceremonial. However, due to their abstraction, some are difficult to interpret. On the other 
hand, they are so diffused and common some aspects of the mythology and cosmovisión of 
the current American tribes that has intended the hypothesis that these elements have their 
origin in the remote shovel-Indian time. 

The Meso-Indian: 5.000 to. C. - 1.000 to. C. 
It represents a transition among the shovel-Indian stage, in the one that the man, with a 
technology of lithic devices, subsisted of the gathering and the hunt of big mammals, and 
the neo-Indian time, characterized by the presence of sedentary populations that you/they 
practiced the agriculture and they manufactured ceramic. The meso-Indian had his 
beginning in Venezuela around 7.000 years before the present when the climatic changes 
that drove to the extinction of the megafauna of the pleistoceno and the emergence of new 
patterns of subsistence, took place such as the exploitation of marine resources in the costs, 
the intensified gathering, and the hunt of small mammals. During this period a bigger 
technological specialization that allowed the exploitation of specific ambient means took 
place. On the other hand, the population's progressive increase is evidenced in the 
American continent. The adoption of the agriculture like strategy of main subsistence 
starting from 3.000 years before the present, mark the end of the meso-Indian time, but it is 
necessary to highlight that the 7.000 year-old chronological frontiers before the present or 
3.000 years before the present, are approximate limits. It is very possible that the pattern of 
subsistence based on the fishing, the hunt and the gathering whose prevalence was 
definitive in this period, existed previously, in coexistence with the characteristic patterns 
of the shovel-Indian; also, evidences of the coexistence of populations pescadoras, leather 
jackets and recolectoras are had with the groups of farming ceramists of the neo-Indian. 
Also the hunt like primordial activity of subsistence was practiced in the shovel-Indian and 
it persisted in the meso-Indian, while the agriculture and the ceramic factory in expansion 
during the neo-Indian, they had certain manifestations during the meso-Indian. It is for it 
that this stage has a transition character; in her accumulates certain sedentarismo experience 
and it is put into practice, in search of new resources, the domesticación of plants. This was 
a sailing time and of marine exploration, with the result that new areas were populated, 
particularly in the Antilles, with contingents that you/they would come from mainland. 
Willey proposed a cultural stage for Venezuela and the area of the Caribbean, under the 
denomination of coast Tradition of the northwest of Suramérica, which was characterized 
by a life based on the gathering and the fishing in a coastal tropical environment, leaving of 
a technological approach for the presence of devices made of refined stone, and for a bigger 
sedentarismo, especially in the riverside and coastal areas. Just as we have seen, the 
archaeological evidence indicates that the man's presence in the South American continent 
seems to extend beyond the 20.000 years. When disappearing the megafauna after the last 
glaciación, the old inhabitants from the current Venezuela were forced to change their 
strategy of subsistence. In answer to the new conditions the meso-Indians adopted some of 
the 3 following alternatives: 1) the exploitation of marine resources, especially mollusks 
whose evidence resides in the coastal concheros; 2) the gathering inside the territory, with a 
subsistence based mainly on vegetable resources, which is inferred of specialized devices, 
such as hands, metates, grinders, etc.; and 3) a subsistence possibly based on the hunt of 
small mammals, suggested by the discoveries of tips of stones of reduced size found in the 
region of Guayana. The sedentarismo that took place during the first 2 alternatives gave 
origin to an incipient agriculture. 
The locations corresponding to the gathering of marine resources are the better known of 
the meso-Indian in Venezuela. On one hand, they are easy to locate for the great quantity of 
marine shells that you/they appear associated to the location, and for the other one, the area 
of the coast is more accessible, what facilitates the archaeological exploration. The 
locations appear in «concheros» or shell mounds, generally of oval form and the plane 
surface. The mounds were formed for the accumulation of the waste of food with the help 
of shellfish. Besides the shells they are fish remains and of aquatic fauna as turtles, lines or 
equidermos and small quantities of bones of terrestrial animals. It is possible that the 
surfaces of the concheros served as base for the housings, since they have been remains of 
vents in different levels. They have also been discovered funerals inside these mounds. The 
concheros is generally in the coast very near the sea. However, they have been locations far 
from the coast, as that of The Pitía (to 9 km of the sea), or in the peninsula of it Gave birth 
to (to 8 or 10 km), that which could explain to you for geologic factors, such as fluctuations 
in the level of the sea or tectonic changes. In the case of the Peasant, the coast advanced 
progressively in the last millennia. Concheros also exists whose inferior strata have been 
with the low time of the level of the sea (example Fat Tip, island of Cubagua), that which 
indicates that its occupation took place in times in that said level was lower. The life of 
these meso-Indians was without place to doubts guided toward the sea; the opposing 
devices base this interpretation. The almost total absence of tips of stone projectile and of 
bones of terrestrial fauna, allows to affirm that these men were not big hunters. On the other 
hand the presence of fishhooks, weights of nets, bone tips and shell, wooden lascas to 
manufacture wooden harpoons, and hammers to facilitate the opening of the shells, 
indicates an appropriate technology for the fishing, gathering and consumption of marine 
products. The marine orientation is also manifested by the presence of other devices, 
especially the gouges or shell raspers that were good that is to say for the production of 
canoes monóxilas, made of a single trunk. The meso-Indians should be excellent 
navigators. They possibly used rafts, even before knowing the shell gouge, which appears 
relatively late in the chronological sequence and only in some locations. It is supposed that 
several islands of the Caribbean were populated by groups meso-Indian hundreds of years 
before the first appearance of the shell gouge in the locations. Apart from the harvested 
foods of the sea, the man of the concheros should have taken advantage of the vegetable 
resources of the area that he inhabited. The presence of hands of milling, metates, mortars 
and the discovery of fruits of the species bactris, they indicate activities of this nature. The 
importance of the magüey has also been pointed out in the diet of the current inhabitants of 
the coastal-oriental area, and probably in the vents found in the concheros, this was roasted 
to eat it. At the end of the meso-Indian it is possible that some of these groups were 
practicing some type of incipient agriculture, of low production, and complementary of the 
other sources of subsistence. Other activities of the coastal meso-Indians that can be 
inferred of the discoveries would be: the usual practice of the fabric, in the production of 
the fishing nets; the factory of such decorations as bills shell discoidales or cayman teeth, 
and the preparation of painting with iron oxide for the corporal decoration. 
Although a pattern cultural general exists shared by the inhabitants of the concheros along 
the coast, there were distinctions of technological nature in the different areas of the 
country and through the time. They stand out 3 variations defined by the type of 
predominant device: 1) lithic devices manufactured by the percussion technique; 2) devices 
of refined stone; 3) and shell devices. Seemingly these devices don't correspond to stages of 
technological evolution, since they have been opposing indistinctly so much in early places 
as late; the most predominant are the lithic ones or of refined stone. That that yes you can 
point out it is the gradual increase with the course of the time of the proportion of shell 
devices in comparison with those of stone, and in general, a bigger variety of devices in the 
late locations. At the moment, the meaning of the different opposing technologies is 
ignored. It is possible that patterns of adaptation reflect to different ecological conditions, 
or the specialized exploitation of different resources. It is necessary to obtain additional 
information on the context of the devices, the waste type and the ecological area in which 
the locations were located (swamps, riverside, arid coast, etc.), before formulating 
hypothesis about the factors that influenced in the differences and technological similarities 
of the different locations found in the area of the Caribbean. Few data exist about the meso-
Indian recolectores-hunters of the interior of the country. However, based on information 
etnográfica, etnohistórica and archaeological of other countries it has more than enough 
non agricultural groups we can reconstruct to big features the type of life that you/they had. 
According to data coming from excavations in rocky coats in the tropical forest of the 
interior of Panama, populations so early existed inside the country as in the coast. Inclusive 
it has been suggested that the coastal recolectores specialized in the exploitation of marine 
resources possibly came of hunter-fisherman-recolectores of the interior. The locations in 
these 2 areas could represent seasonal establishments in which the arboreal resources were 
exploited in the interior, during the dry time, and the marine resources in the station of 
rains. 
Starting from 7.000 years before the present had a growing diferenciación between the 
populations of the different areas until these they reached a sedentary life or semisedentaria, 
with the exploitation and domesticación of tubers and fruits in the interior, and the intensive 
exploitation of marine resources in the coast. It is very probable that the interior of 
Venezuela was also busy from very early. The pre-agricultural groups of the meso-Indian 
time should be organized in nomadic bands or seminómadas, relatively small (less than 100 
people) with a flexible social structure that allowed the increase or decrease of members 
according to the available resources. It is probable that for certain times of the year met the 
whole group to exploit certain abundant resources, while in times of shortage they were 
divided in nuclear families. To supplement the fishing and the hunt, they should know the 
biological cycles of the gathered resources well (seeds, grains, roots, fruits, nuts, insects, 
larvas and honey, palms, turtle eggs, etc.) it is probable that the movements itinerantes of 
the groups was governed by a calendar based on the abundance or shortage of the different 
exploited resources. 

 


 

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