BREA Mariana
congresos y reuniones científicas
The phytoliths studies in South America, a retrospective.
Tafí del Valle, Tucumán
Otro; 3rd EIF (Latinoamerican Phytolithic Meeting),; 2005
Institución organizadora:
Instituto de Arqueología y Museo. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e IML, UNT
The first phytolithic studies in South America were developed by Ehrenberg (XIX century). Ehrenberg elaborates the first morphological phytolithic classification from siliceous elements of vegetable and animal origin from different parts of the world, many of which come from samples of Charles Darwin’s collection. Among them, there are sediments from Monte Hermoso (Bahía Blanca), limes associated to fossil mammals (Bahía Blanca), dental pieces of a mastodon (Santa Fe) and plant roots from Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Only between 1925 and 1955, Joaquín Frenguelli mentions, for the first time, the presence of gramineous silica cells in Argentinian sediments dating from the Tertiary, Quaternary and Recent periods. Later, between 1969 and 1983, Hetty Bertoldi de Pomar makes her first studies in the subject, which contributes to the morphological silicophytolith classification including a Graminae, Cyperaceae, Equisetum, Arecaceae and Podostemaceae phytolith classification. During those years, Renato Andreis, Luis A. Spalletti and Mario M. Mazzoni also record for the first time pytholiths coming from Cenozoic sediments from Patagonia. From 1990 onwards, this activity increased considerably. In Argentina, there are phytholithic characterizations of Tertiary continental sedimentary sequences from San Luis, Quaternary coastal sequences and paleosoils from Tandilia range (Buenos Aires), Miocene and Pleistocene marine and continental Neogene sediments from the Paraná and Urugay basins (Entre Ríos), as well as Paleogene sediments from Patagonia. In this same period, phytolithic studies contributing to palaeoecological (Amazon basin), phytosociological (Colombian Páramo), limnological (Panama and Uruguay lagoons), ethnobotanical (Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia) and archaelogical (Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay) studies stand out in Latin America.   This paper was subsidized by project PICT 07-13864 (ANPCyT)