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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244


GIARDINA, Miguel et al. Resources and Human Diet in Llancanelo (Mendoza, Nordpatagonia): One Discussion Archaeological Record. Magallania [online]. 2014, vol.42, n.1, pp.111-131. ISSN 0718-2244.

This study uses stable isotope data to improve our understanding of human exploitation of Llancanelo lagoon, a saline lake and wetland located between the Monte and Patagonian deserts of Mendoza, Argentina. We collect stable C, N, and O isotope data from human remains from the eastern and northern margins of Llancanelo and compare them with C and N data from an array of local plants and animals, zooarchaeological data from local archaeological sites, and C, N, and O data from human remains elsewhere in southern Mendoza. The isotopes and archaeofaunas from Llancanelo show a low reliance on guanaco and rheids and a moderate reliance on aquatic resources and small, terrestrial game. Although there are no corresponding archaeological remains, the isotope data also suggest a heavy use of mesquite (Prosopis ssp.) and Hardee peppertree (Schinus polygamus). Carbon and nitrogen isotope data from the human remains reveal no significant differences between samples from the Llancanelo area and human remains from the rest of Mendoza. When analized by subarea, however, humans from the west of the lake are more similar to individuals from La Payunia and the eastern plains and humans from the south of Llancanelo more similar to individuals from the Andean piedmont. Based on this information we suggest that Llancanelo acted as a point of population convergence and was exploited in a fashion complementary to other areas in the south of Mendoza.

Keywords : human diet; stable isotope; wetland; Nordpatagonia; Argentina.

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