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Deriving calibrations for Arawakan using archaeological evidence


Michael Lev, de Carvalho Fernando, Chacon Thiago,, “Deriving calibrations for Arawakan using archaeological evidence”, Interface Focus, Vol. 13, No 1, 2023,

This paper identifies time calibration points for accurately rooting and dating the phylogeny of Arawakan, the largest Indigenous linguistic family of the Americas. We present and model a methodology for extracting calibration points from the archaeological record, based on principles of geographical overlap between archaeological sites and Arawakan peoples, and on continuity in material culture between archaeological finds and modern Arawakan practices. Based on a consensus model of the expansion of the Arawakan family from Central Amazonia, we focus on archaeological finds in Arawakan expansion zones, where Arawakan material culture abruptly appears in a given region, and where only a single major Arawakan subgroup/clade is present. We find 12 calibration points from archaeological sites in Arawakan expansion zones and also identify more recent calibration points from the historical record based on first mentions of ethnonyms and early sources of lexical data.

Modélisation de la transmission et de la diffusion des langues en Amazonie
01 septembre 2021 - 30 juin 2022
Thiago Chacon
Thiago Chacon, Lev Michael, Fernando de Carvalho, et al.