Population Dynamics and Human Strategies in Northwestern Patagonia

A View from Salamanca Cave (Mendoza, Argentina)

Authors

  • Gustavo Neme IDEVEA, CONICET, National Technological University, San Rafael, Argentina https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5874-3550
  • Marcelo Zárate INCITAP, CONICET, National University of La Pampa, Santa Rosa, Argentina
  • María de la Paz Pompei ISES, CONICET, National University of Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
  • Fernando Franchetti IDEVEA, CONICET, National Technological University, San Rafael, Argentina
  • Adolfo Gil IDEVEA, CONICET, National Technological University, San Rafael, Argentina
  • Miguel Giardina IDEVEA, CONICET, National Technological University, San Rafael, Argentina
  • Viviana P. Seitz IADIZA, CONICET, Scientific and Technological Center, Mendoza, Argentina https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6638-851X
  • M. Laura Salgán IDEVEA, CONICET, ICES Nodo Malargüe, National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4741-0280
  • Cinthia Abbona IDEVEA, CONICET, National Technological University, San Rafael, Argentina
  • Fernando Fernández CONICET, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6002-0113

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.48.15

Keywords:

hunter-gatherers, Northern Patagonia, mid Holocene, late Holocene, intensification, Southern Mendoza

Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the role of human strategies in the Andean Piedmont from northern Patagonia across the Holocene. Specifically, we present the analysis of the Early Holocene-Late Holocene archaeological record of Salamanca cave (Mendoza-Argentina). We identified technological changes that occurred during the Late Holocene and the implications of a human occupation hiatus in the Middle Holocene. We follow a multiproxy approach by the analysis of radiocarbon dates, archaeofaunal remains, ceramic, lithics and XRF obsidian sourcing. We also discuss a detailed stratigraphic sequence by geomorphological descriptions, the construction of a radiocarbon sequence model and summed probability distributions, compared with other archaeological sites in the region. We conclude that after the Middle Holocene archaeological hiatus, human populations grew while guanaco populations dropped. The imbalance between demography and resources boosted the incorporation of new technologies such as ceramics and the bow and arrow, allowing people to exploit lower-ranked resources.

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Published

10.09.2021

How to Cite

Neme, G., Zárate, M. ., Pompei, M. de la P., Franchetti, F. ., Gil, A., Giardina, M. ., Seitz, V. P. ., Salgán, M. L. ., Abbona, C., & Fernández, F. . (2021). Population Dynamics and Human Strategies in Northwestern Patagonia: A View from Salamanca Cave (Mendoza, Argentina). Documenta Praehistorica, 48, 2–21. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.48.15

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Section

Articles