Alero las Quemas, a key site for the study of human occupations of Andean forest in Patagonia (Aisén, Chile).


The hunter-gatherer occupation of the Andean forests is a major issue for understanding the variability of human adaptations in Patagonia. The paucity of sites at key locations and the incomplete understanding of the climate-human dynamics undermine the full comprehension of the exploration and colonization of such habitats. We present recent work on Alero Las Quemas, a rock shelter with occupations starting at 6110 cal BP, currently located in the forest-steppe transition of the Aisén region (44° S). Among other topics, we focus on the site context, geoarchaeology, rock arte description, and the study of the lithic assemblage. We compare this record with locally available environment reconstructions of lake sediment cores that characterize the fluctuations of the forest-steppe boundary since the Post Glacial. The results consistently suggest that the main occupations extended between 2430 and 2950 cal BP, period that fully coincides with the most significant Holocene contraction of forests and the highest frequencies of fire episodes as shown by the analyses of pollen and charcoal particle, respectively. The new results herein presented are discussed in the frame of the archaeological data at other contiguous environments and in relation to the current models of forest occupations. FONDECYT# 1130128 grant.

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Alero las Quemas, a key site for the study of human occupations of Andean forest in Patagonia (Aisén, Chile).. César Méndez, Omar Reyes, Amalia Nuevo Delaunay, Héctor Velásquez, Valentina Trejo. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397344)

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min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;