THE MIDDLE ARCHAIC SITE OF PERNIL ALTO, SOUTHERN PERU: THE BEGINNINGS OF HORTICULTURE AND SEDENTARINESS IN MID-HOLOCENE CONDITIONS
During the Middle Archaic period, agriculture -that later played an important role- was established in the Central Andes. Pernil Alto was a permanent settlement of this period, dating to 5800-5000 cal BP and located in Southern Peru. The economy was already based on horticulture and was independent from the marine resources of the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, some foraging, especially plant collection, was conducted. Currently, the area is one of the driest in the world, but was -based on palaeoclimatic information-much more favourable during the Middle Archaic. These conditions certainly influenced the emergence of horticulture in the region.