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Volume 53 / Social Sciences


South America

BETTY J. MEGGERS, Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution

IN SPITE OF PALTRY FINANCIAL RESOURCES in most South American countries and increased editorial constraints necessitating single annotations for edited volumes, the number of entries this biennial is 25 percent greater than in HLAS 51. Equally remarkably, almost 60 percent of the items were published in South America. These figures reflect the strong and growing interest among South American archaeologists, whose dedication overcomes lack of incentives in employment, fieldwork, analysis, and publication. Although scientific issues remain important, the role of archaeology in exposing the roots of ethnic and national identity is an increasing attraction, eloquently articulated by Lleras in Historia prehispánica y permanencias culturales (item bi 92003081).

The ratios of national to foreign authors show no significant change from HLAS 51. Foreign authors outnumber nationals two to one for Peru and Ecuador, whereas they play insignificant roles in Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. Comparable imbalances prevail in loci of publication.

Multi-authored works fall into two principal categories: proceedings of congresses and volumes on special topics. Among the former, the Anais of the fourth (1987) and fifth (1989) Reuni˜ao Científica da Sociedade Brasileira de Arqueologia (items bi 93020989 and bi 93023378), the first Comunicaciones from the Jornadas de Arqueología de la Patagonia (item bi 91028337), the Memorias of the Simposio de Arqueología y Antropología Física, Bogotá (item bi 92005189), and several volumes from the 46th International Congress of Americanists, Amsterdam, 1988. Among the latter are compilations of national scope, such as Colombia prehispánica (item bi 92005183) and Ecuador indígena (item bi 93017257), and examinations of particular topics, regions, or periods, such as Hauri administrative structure (item bi 91009311). Prehistoria sudamericana (item bi 93014276) provides examples of research interests and theoretical perspectives among leading South American scholars.

The growing controversy over the time of arrival of the first South Americans is reflected in an unusual number of general discussions. Several authors argue that the diversity of lithic assemblages and habitats exploited is too great by 12,000 BP to represent the initial occupation of the continent (items bi 93010974, bi 93010975, and bi 93010978), and others dispute the authenticity of sites with ages exceeding 15,000 BP, the maximum accepted for the peopling of North America (items bi 93011031, bi 93010988, and bi 93014602).

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