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Revista argentina de antropología biológica

On-line version ISSN 1514-7991


GORDON, Florencia et al. El "hombre fósil de mata molle" (Neuquén, Argentina): cronología y variación craneofacial en el contexto de las poblaciones de patagonia y sudamérica. Rev Arg Antrop Biol [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.1, pp.77-89. ISSN 1514-7991.

The skeletal remains recovered from Mata Molle Site (Neuquén Province) have been an important reference in studies on Patagonian peopling due to the high antiquity and unique morphological characteristics that were assigned to them. In this paper, we present the results of analysis of craniofacial morphology in the context of early human remains in South America, along with the first radiocarbon date obtained directly on bone material from the site. Osteological analysis determined that the burial corresponds to two adult individuals, one male (Ind. 1) and one female (Ind. 2). The Ind. 1 showed a high degree of tooth wear and musculoskeletal stress markers in right radius and in lower limbs that are compatible with elevated levels of physical activity. Height and body mass estimates fall within the range observed in Northern Patagonia samples of a similar chronology. The cranial morphology of Ind. 1 exhibits strong similarities to the earliest populations of South America and the Pampa region, and is characterized by increased anteroposterior lenght and a reduction in width and height. However, radiocarbon dating indicates that the burial of Mata Molle corresponds to the early Late Holocene (3270±46 years BP) and not to the middle or early Holocene as had been previously reported. Finally, δ13C and δ15N values are within the expected ranges for terrestrial diets based on C3 resources.

Keywords : Bioarchaeology; Northwest Patagonia; Craniofacial morphology; Late Holocene.

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