Brazilian archaeological literature has insisted for decades upon associating hunter-gatherer sites dated to the Pleistocene–Holocene transition either to the Itaparica tradition, if located in central or northeastern Brazil, or to the Umbu tradition and Humaitá tradition, if located in southern Brazil, Uruguay, or any other adjacent part of Paraguay and Argentina. These associations have been based almost entirely on the presence or absence of lesmas and “projectile points,” regardless of their morphological and technological features. In the Uruguayan archaeological literature, three other cultures are recognised: Fell industry, Catalanense industry, and Tigre tradition, all in the Uruguayan region. However, the last 10 years of systematic studies on the lithic assemblages from these sites have shown that Paleoindian societies from Eastern South America are more culturally diverse than expected and that previously defined archaeological cultures present several issues in their definition, suggesting that many of these “traditions” are not valid and should no longer be used. Instead, new lithic industries and archaeological cultures should be defined only when cultural patterns are observable through systematic analyses.
Part of the book: Pleistocene Archaeology