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Intersecciones en antropología

On-line version ISSN 1850-373X


BELLELLI, Cristina. Tecnología y materias primas a la sombra de Don Segundo: Una cantera-taller en el valle de Piedra Parada. Intersecciones antropol. [online]. 2005, n.6, pp.75-92. ISSN 1850-373X.

The goal of this paper is to improve knowledge of the temporal span and uses of Don Segundo quarry, as well as the role it played in the regional lithic resource base. The quarry is located in a landscape of gentle hills, at 42º 36´ 30´´ south, and 70º 13´ 45´´ west, 2.5 km north in the middle Chubut valley, at 600 meters above sea level. It is a large lithic quarry (10,300 m2) where a clastic sedimentary rock was available to the hunter-gatherers who inhabited the Piedra Parada area (Northwest of the Chubut province) since AD 5000. The good properties of the rocks, the way in which it appears (outcrops), and the site's high visibility, are factors that would have been considered by the societies that used this lithic resource. First, an update of the published information about different locations and lithic procurement sites known in the area is presented. The great majority of such sites share with Don Segundo most of its best characteristics. Don Segundo has a unique characteristic, which is the high density and concentration of rocks. This suggests that although this quarry had a significant role in the regional circulation of rocks, it was not central to the prehistoric population because they had many types of good lithic raw material to choose from throughout the region. Subsequently, different kinds of lithic production activities that took place in the site are defined using technological and morphological lithic analyses. The first steps of the reduction sequence - manufacturing blanks and bifaces - were carried out at Don Segundo. The purpose of these activities was to reduce large masses of rock to make them transportable to other locations where the reduction process was finished. Finally, the representation of raw material originating from Don Segundo found in lithic assemblages recovered from 28 sites is analyzed in order to detect spacio-temporal tendencies. The results show that these rocks were used throughout the 5,000 years of occupation in the region at almost every site located within a 25 km radius (geodesic distance) from the source. Advantages like accessibility, availability, ease of transport, and the good quality of the rocks are not the only predictors of the intensity with which a quarry will be used. Don Segundo, although visited frequently, was not the quarry that provided the largest amount of rocks to the valley's population. Nevertheless, this quarry was used over a large time span.

Keywords : North Central Patagonia; Hunter-gatherers; Lithic procurement; Lithic quarry.

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