Coastal Occupations in Tierra del Fuego, Southernmost South America: A Late Holocene Hunter-Gatherer Context at Marazzi 2

Ivana L. Ozán, Charles French, Flavia Morello Repetto, Carlos A. Vásquez, Tomás Luppo
Año de la publicación: 
2 015
Geoarcheology An International Journal, 20 October 2015
This paper focuses on the late Holocene occupation of hunter-gatherers at the Marazzi 2 site located on the northwestern steppe of Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Our aim is to understand stratigraphy, formation processes, and pedogenesis with respect to human occupation over the last 3000 years. Based on archaeological excavations on a fluvial terrace of the Torcido River, we integrate soil micromorphology, mineralogy, geochemistry, magnetic susceptibility, and geomorphology, as well as the micro- and macrofrequency distributions of archaeological material. A micro-taphonomical perspective is also applied to anthropogenic components recorded in sedimentary thin sections. We discuss various events in the interplay between soil development and human occupation through time. Marazzi 2 was witness to aggradation and pedogenesis with an episode of surface stability coincident with a phase of more intense human occupation at about 860 BC. Taphonomic analysis suggests that there are multiple occupation events mixed together, probably by biomechanical processes, resulting in a palimpsest with poor temporal resolution.