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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2244


D. FRANK, ARIEL. Hearths in the central plateau of Santa Cruz during the Final Pleistocene. Magallania [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.1, pp.145-162. ISSN 0718-2244.

In this paper we investigate the combustion structures used during the final Pleistocene in the central plateau of Santa Cruz, Argentina. We analyze the hearths from unit 5 of site Cerro Tres Tetas 1 and from units 4 and 3 inferior of site Casa del Minero 1. We study some of their characteristics -morphology, size, proximity to cave walls and to the drip line, distance between each other- and evaluate the way in which certain factors affected their conformation. Additionally, we perform an initial comparison with hearths with similar chronologies from the region of Magallanes in Chile. The analyzed hearths are fat and lack any limiting structure; therefore they are in accordance with low-intense occupations in which fre ignition involves little energy. Evidence indicates that the fuctuation in the size of hearths might be related to changes in occupation intensity. The abundance of hearths, which are in many cases located near each other or even overlapped shows a series of occupations in caves as well as redundancy in the selection of the place in which to light the hearths. Finally, compari-sons with "Fell 1" hearths suggest two different strategies regarding hearth design in these two areas of southern Patagonia.

Palabras clave : hearths; central plateau; final pleistocene; fire management.

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