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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

LLANO, Carina  and  NEME, Gustavo. THE ARCHAEOBOTANICAL RECORD FROM EL SALADO VALLEY, MENDOZA: TAPHONOMIC PROBLEMS AND HUMAN EXPLOITATION. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2012, vol.44, n.2, pp.269-285. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562012000200005.

This paper presents the results of taxonomic identification of the macroremains recovered from archaeological sites in the El Salado valley, Malargüe, Mendoza (Argentina), discussing aspects related to the origin of the samples and the use of the identified species by human populations. The macroremains were recovered from the sites of Gendarmería Nacional-5 (GN-5) and Puesto Jaque-II (PJ-II). The sites correspond to the last 1,000 years BP. The taxonomic identification of archaeobotanical remains was based on comparative morphological analysis (fruits and seeds) with archaeological and contemporary macroremains. The results suggest a different origin for the samples from these two sites. While on one hand the sample from PJ-II had an anthropogenic origin, suggesting the consumption of species such as Schinus polygamus (Cav.) Cabrera, Berberis empetrifolia Lam., and probably, Oxalis sp., and Chenopodium sp. On the other hand, it appears that the GN-5 sample was deposited by natural causes. We conclude that it is unlikely that the last two mentioned species were consumed (but do not rule this possibility), as their status was different from the three earlier mentioned species.

Keywords : Archaeobotany; high altitude environments; subsistence; taphonomy.

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