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Título: Fast biostratinomic destruction of previously diagenized human bones: an explanation for a lagged bioarchaeological records in Patagonia
Autor(es): Vazquez, Romina Clara
Archuby, Fernando
Béguelin, Marien
Fecha de publicación: 2020
Revista: TaphCon 2020
Resumen: Human occupation in South America is recorded from 15100 to 16600 years BP. However, in Northwestern Patagonia, the oldest open-air sites bearing human skeletal remains are ~4000 years BP. Then, a low bioarchaeological signal characterizes the first 10000 years. The bioarchaeological record in Northwestern Patagonia is characterized by burial sites. Hence, taphonomic history consists of a short biostratinomic period immediately after death, restricted to mortuary practices of corpse preparation, being diagenesis the main phase of bone modification. In a sort of natural experiment, we studied bones naturally exposed to weathering after 4000 years of diagenesis, with control of the time they were in the (second) biostratinomy. Macroscopic and microscopic taphonomic analysis of 9074 bone remains indicated a remarkable deterioration after only 5-6 years of exposure to weathering. The results revealed an enhanced negative impact of biostratinomic processes on previously diagenized bones, which helps to understand the low bioarchaeological signal recorded before the late Holocene. The fact that bones remain visible for little time before being unrecognizable or eventually destroyed, and the low current population density of Patagonia, reduces the probability of finding the bioarchaeological record. Low density of early-middle Holocene human populations is part of the explanation as well.
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Este documento es resultado del financiamiento otorgado por el Estado Nacional, por lo tanto queda sujeto al cumplimiento de la Ley N° 26.899

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