The initial peopling of continental Aisén: New data from Cueva de la Vieja


This paper summarizes recent research conducted at Cueva de la Vieja site (BN15; 45°16’27’’ S; 71°32’24’’ W, 718 masl) in the Ñirehuao basin, Aisén, Chile, targeted at characterizing aspects of the initial peopling of Central Western Patagonia. Systematic stratigraphic excavations at this small cave yielded material evidence for human activities starting at 12,000 calibrated years BP and ever since redundant occupations at the same locale. Site formation processes are described and discussed in frame of available paleoenvironmental reconstructions and the Post Glacial reconfiguration of the landscape. The archaeological assemblages and features are analyzed and further discussed in order to characterize technological choices, the activities conducted at the site, and the occupation time-span. These results, analyzed in light of the available radiocarbon dataset, allow characterizing an intermittent, though recurrent human signal at the locale and the basin. This is further compared to equivalently radiocarbon dated sites in the broader region of northern Aisén in order to build an image on the intensity and character of space hierarchy for the initial settlement of the region. FONDECYT grant #1130128.

Cite this Record

The initial peopling of continental Aisén: New data from Cueva de la Vieja. César Méndez, Amalia Nuevo, Omar Reyes, Ivana Laura Ozán, Carolina Belmar. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403121)

Spatial Coverage

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