Population Dynamics and Human Strategies in Northwestern Patagonia
A View from Salamanca Cave (Mendoza, Argentina)
Keywords:hunter-gatherers, Northern Patagonia, mid Holocene, late Holocene, intensification, Southern Mendoza
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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Copyright (c) 2021 Gustavo Neme, Marcelo Zárate, María de la Paz Pompei, Fernando Franchetti, Adolfo Gil, Miguel Giardina, Viviana P. Seitz, M. Laura Salgán, Cinthia Abbona, Fernando Fernández
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