INSTITUTO DE ANTROPOLOGIA DE CORDOBA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Pinniped Zooarchaeological studies in Southern Patagonia. Current issues and future research agenda
A. SEBASTIÁN MUÑOZ
Congreso; World Archaezoology Today; 2012
Sea lions have been one of the main resources used by Holocene hunter-gatherers in Southern Patagonia. Yet, in spite of their importance, many aspects of their exploitation remain to be studied if we are to understand the variability involved in human-pinniped relationships since the human peopling of the region at the end of the Pleistocene. This paper deals with our current knowledge of the issue, discusses the data available from the zooarchaeological record and analyses different lines of zooarchaeological and taphonomic inquiry. Zooarchaeological evidence suggests no clear partition between marine and terrestrial foragers in Southern Patagonia. The analysis of the regional database show that information is not distributed evenly across southern Patagonia geography. Where present, pinnipeds are the dominant mammalian taxon in almost half of the assemblages; and two common species for the region are recorded in almost every assemblage, with varying proportions of each. Recent assemblages show a young-dominated pattern while earlier ones display a more varied picture. Several issues can be derived for future research, among which isotopic tracking to understanding pinniped past distribution and human predation on A. australis on the Atlantic coast would help elucidate the range of variation between and within strategies encompassed in general categories such as marine and terrestrial hunter-gatherers.