Geolocation of unpublished archaeological sites in the Peruvian Amazon

Sci Data. 2021 Oct 29;8(1):290. doi: 10.1038/s41597-021-01067-7.


Published maps identifying archaeological sites in the Amazon basin show a paucity of sites in western Amazonia compared to the Brazilian Amazon. Whereas fewer than two dozen are identified for the Peruvian Amazon on basin-wide maps, a thorough review of unpublished archival material held by the Ministry of Culture of Peru and other sources revealed more than 400 known but unpublished sites in the Department of Loreto, challenging the notion that the region was sparsely occupied in prehistory. Our database provides the geolocation of each site and corresponding references for use by scientists seeking to better understand regional Pre-Columbian human occupation and settlement, cultural change, resource use and their landscape legacies. These data are foundational not only to the development of a richer understanding of prehistory and historical ecology of the Amazon basin but importantly for informing current land use, forest conservation and development policies as well as initiatives to support indigenous land and cultural rights in Amazonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't