The First Inhabitants of the Occidente (ca. 20,000 - 1500 B.C.)
We have very little information about the first stages of human occupation in the Occidente. By analogy with other Mesoamerican areas, we can assume that by around 20,000 B.C. our region was occupied by hunter-gatherers, who exploited a vast array of natural environments. The few finds pertaining to this period consist of some stone flakes and projectile points, as well as pieces of modified bone, found in the Zacoalco-San Marcos-Lake Chapala area of Jalisco (Solórzano 1980; Hardy 1994).
The coastal area of the Occidente has revealed few traces of human occupation during the earliest periods. According to Mountjoy, "the earliest evidence for human use of the southern coast is a campsite at the base of a volcanic hill at the northern end of Matanchén Bay [Nayarit]"; the date for this archaeological complex is ca. 2200-1730 B.C. (Mountjoy 2000:83).
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