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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244


MORELLO, Flavia et al. Punta Baxa 7 Site: Archaeological site of the northern coast of Tierra del Fuego, Strait of Magellan (Chile). Magallania [online]. 2015, vol.43, n.2, pp.167-188. ISSN 0718-2244.

Punta Baxa 7 archeological site is characterized as an aggregate of archaeological concentrations (shell middens, lithic workshops and concentrations of human and animal bones). Located at Primera Angostura, on the southern shore of the Strait of Magellan, it provides evidence of stratigraphic deposits that were subject to archaeological excavations in two areas. Abundant cetacean bones were found in between surface concentrations and scattered material, therefore it was taken as a case to evaluate the use of these marine mammals by pedestrian hunter-gatherers. Spatial and stratigraphic studies and site material analysis have provided interesting results which improve our understanding of late Holocene coastal occupations in northern Tierra del Fuego Island. In particular contexts related to extended archaeological sites and the creation of palimpsests. It was also possible to demonstrate the existence of a physical and behavioral association between cetaceans and other archaeological remains, because of transport and human action on bones. Stratigraphic evidence of prehistoric overlapping occupations, separated by abandonment events, has allowed rule out hypothesis that this extended site corresponded to an important population aggregate cohabiting the place for a certain period. By contrast, specific re-occupancy events were recorded, including spatially and/or stratigraphically segregated shellmidden deposits, with dates between 1.210 and 1.820 years BP.

Keywords : Tierra del Fuego; late Holocene; archaeology; coast; cetaceans.

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