Rafael Suarez

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Uruguay, U. de la Republica

Grant number

Gr. 9978

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Suárez, Rafael (University of Republic, College of Humanities) "The Paleoamerican exploration of the Uruguay middle river during the late Pleistocene"

RAFAEL SUAREZ, University of the Republic, Montevideeo, Uruguay, was awarded funding in August 2020 to aid research on “The Paleoamerican Exploration of the Uruguay Middle River during the Late Pleistocene.” The excavation carried out allowed to increase different aspects of the oldest human occupation of the middle Uruguay River. Confirm that there is an important cultural diversity during the early prehistory, characterized by human groups that used different designs of projectile points. A new early point was discovered dated between 11,300 – 10,500 years cal BP; used by hunter-gatherers during the early Holocene. Two points found in stratigraphic context correspond to this new design tentatively call Jaguar points. These new data suggest that human adaptations found in the Uruguay River indicate weaponry reorganization with the emergence of a variety of point types during the Pleistocene Holocene transition. The morphological changes in the designs of projectile points and the emergence of the Jaguar points possibly are adjustments related to the reorganization of weapons, generated by hunters who must have had to face new prey choice during the early Holocene. Technological innovation and the appearance of Jaguar points represents the human adaptation to new weapons in response to drastic changes in the climatic, ecological, and faunistic parameters during the Pleistocene Holocene transition.


Rafael Suárez & María Julia Melián (2021) Fluted Triangular Nonstemmed Points in Uruguay and Their Extra-regional Relationship: Broadening Technological Diversity during the Early Holocene of South America, PaleoAmerica, 7:3, 190-210, DOI: 10.1080/20555563.2021.1928983

Rafael Suarez, Jenny Volarich, Julia Melian (2023) The initial peopling of South American Plains: An overview on Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene settlers in Uruguay. L’anthropologie (2023), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anthro.2023.103120