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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2244


CARDEN, Natalia  y  PRATES, Luciano. Rock paintings in a funerary space: The case of Cueva Galpón (Nordeastern Patagonia). Magallania [online]. 2015, vol.43, n.1, pp.117-136. ISSN 0718-2244.

This paper introduces the first results from the study of the rock art evidence from Cueva Galpón (northeast Patagonia, Argentina). The archaeological evidence found in the cave is represented by two human burials and red, black and white rock paintings. It is intended to evaluate the internal variability of the rock art, to propose a production sequence and to discuss its archaeological context. The first two objectives are approached through the formal characterization of motifs, the analysis of superimpositions and the evaluation of weathering. The contextualization is carried out through the intra-site and inter-site scales. The first one evaluates the relationships between the paintings and mortuary practices, and the second analyzes the similarities and differences with the regional rock art in order to discuss their stylistic, technologic and chronologic implications. The results suggest a chronology of ca. 3.000 years for the production of rock art (coincident with the dates obtained for one of the human burials) and a diachronic use of the cave both for the production of images and the inhumations. A possible interdependency between both kinds of practices is proposed, and this unusual association is discussed in the light of the regional information from the Late Holocene.

Palabras clave : rock paintings; North Patagonia; mortuary practices; Late Holocene.

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