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Early and Middle Holocene Hunter-Gatherer Occupations in Western Amazonia: The Hidden Shell Middens

Figure 6

Micromorphology of SM1’s key features and units.

A) Fragment of burnt earth from Unit II showing a relatively undisturbed mass of clay with a cluster of coarser material; the association of two different materials suggests reworking, but the presence of root channels indicates it was limited (PPL); b) Unit IIIa at depth 45 cm; “a” indicates an aragonitic shell fragment, “m” indicates recrystallized shell fragments and “c” indicates precipitated calcite crystals (XPL); c) Unit V at depth 130 cm entirely constituted by burnt shell fragments and precipitated calcite (plane polarized light, PPL); d) Biogenic burnt earth fragments at depth of 75 cm; on the left a longitudinal cut of the chamber; on the right a transversal cut of the chamber (PPL).

Figure 6