The project, Societies of South Peru in the Context of Climatic and Environmental Change, Late Pleistocene to Modern Age (Rio Tambo Project), is intended – basing on research made in the valley of Rio Tambo and the adjacent coastal zone– to present an analysis of climatic and environmental change at work in the region of S. Peru starting from late Pleistocene until present and the impact of these changes on the character of human settlement. Apart from tracing the process of adaptation of human groups inhabiting the region to gradual global shifts of climate and vegetation the project is expected to help in determining the impact of on smaller scale seasonal shifts in climate (short-lived from the perspective of climatology), only regional or local in impact. The main source of climatic impact on a regional scale has been El Niño which influenced processes of settling and withdrawal of human settlement in specific areas of the valley and the ocean coast. Local-scale impact (limited in range) is primarily associated with seismic and volcanic phenomena which are noted with special intensity in the southernmost part of Peru, ie, in the region of the proposed research. The proposed research is interdisciplinary in character and envisions close cooperation of a wide range of specialists from the fields of climatology, palaeogeography and volcanology, as well as archaeologists, ethnologists and specialists from other fields, eg photogrammetry, C14 analysis and palaeobotany. The project will document from a chronological perspective climatic and environmental change in the study area, defining their parameters and reconstructing the stages of colonisation by human settlement and its decline in individual ecological enclaves; a phenomenon which is observed in Andean valley areas also in modern times.
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