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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244

Abstract

MORENO, EDUARDO et al. Stable isotopes, fauna and technology in the study of hunter-gatherers the north coast of Santa Cruz. Magallania [online]. 2011, vol.39, n.1, pp.265-276. ISSN 0718-2244.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22442011000100017.

The main goal of this paper is to develop stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen for human remains recovered in the North Coast of Santa Cruz (Southern Patagonia, Argentina). We discussed the patterns generated by previous archaeological and ethnohistorical studies for this sector in relation to the use of marine resources by hunter-gatherer societies of the Late Holocene. Archaeological and ethnohistorical studies have proposed an intensive use of marine resources, which was supported both by the distribution and density of the archaeological record in coastal settings as well as the prevalence of marine taxa in the zooarchaeological record and the presence of tecnology related to the exploitation of coastal and marine resources. Values of d13C and d15N on 10 individuals recovered from the North Coast of Santa Cruz are pre-sented in order to assess the relative importance of marine resources in human palaeodiets. The results shows a moderate variability of the satable isotopes values,suggesting marine-continental mixed diets. This interpretation contrasts with the fact that archaeofaunal record is dominated by marine resources in coastal settings. Therefore, it is proposed an intensive but not exclusive use of resources from coastal areas in subsistence patterns of hunter-gatherers. We suggest complementary movements between littoral environments and nearby interior areas, where terrestrial resources could have been exploited. Further-more, the isotopic analysis shows that the use of marine resources in this sector was not more intense than that recorded in other coastal areas from Continental Patagonia.

Keywords : d13C and d15N; subsistence; coastal hunter-gatherers; southern Patagonia; late Holocene.

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