Fire and Foxes: Investigations into a Pre-historic Human Presence in the Falkland Islands
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The warrah (Duscicyon australis), also known as the Falkland Islands wolf, was the only terrestrial mammal native to the Falkland Islands when Europeans arrived in the seventeenth century. The lack of definitive evidence of a pre-European human presence, coupled with the expansive channel separating the islands from mainland South America, raises questions about how and when the extinct, endemic D. australis arrived in the islands. Two competing theories have been proposed to explain the presence of D. australis on the Falklands: 1) the warrah crossed a hypothetical ice bridge at the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 B.P.) when sea level was lower than present, and 2) prehistoric humans traveling from southern South America brought the warrah to the Falklands via canoes. Through a combined paleoecological and archaeological approach we have begun investigating the potential pre-historic arrival of humans to the Falklands. At one remote island location the close association of numerous marine mammal and bird bone piles with an orders-of-magnitude increase in fire frequency and magnitude, coupled with the proximal presence of one locally sourced stone point, suggests that New Island may hold the earliest known evidence of pre-historic human arrival in the Falkland Islands.
Cite this Record
Fire and Foxes: Investigations into a Pre-historic Human Presence in the Falkland Islands. Kit Hamley, Jacquelyn Gill, Kathryn Krasinski, Daniel Sandweiss. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450252)
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Abstract Id(s): 25166