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The Chonos archipelago: from hunting-gathering to industrial productivity in the western Patagonian channels (43°50’ - 46°50’ S), Chile.

Author(s): Omar Reyes ; Cesar Mendez ; Manuel San Roman ; Camilo Robles

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Chonos archipelago is a series of islands and fjords in the northernmost part of western Patagonia, South America. It has been disconnected from continental landforms since glacial retreat, thus it is an ideal area for assessing the human use of maritime habitats. We analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of the archaeological record focusing on the emergence of human intense signatures in the last part of the late Holocene. The archaeological record (87 sites) includes open-air and within cave shell-middens, collective burials inside rock-shelters, fishing pens and historical camps. The radiocarbon record (90 dates) is discontinuous since the first evidence at 6,300 cal BP until a recurrent occupation at 2,000 cal BP, being particularly strong during the last millennium. Historical records from the Chonos peoples disappeared by the XVIII Century and the archipelago became the territory for extractive activities (whalers, industrial shellfish processing, wood extraction) leaving traces in the shoreline. Today, the archipelago is used intensively, but productive activities (pisciculture) occupy marine surfaces, thus diminishing the production of materials on the coast. Assessing the continuous record of fully maritime societies should prove useful for understanding broader pictures including the variability in human signatures during the Anthropocene. FONDECYT #1130151.


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The Chonos archipelago: from hunting-gathering to industrial productivity in the western Patagonian channels (43°50’ - 46°50’ S), Chile.. Omar Reyes, Cesar Mendez, Manuel San Roman, Camilo Robles. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430806)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15583

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America