Characterization of black volcanites from the Limay river basin, Patagonia, Argentina, using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry : an aid to infer human group mobility
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Engineering sciences. Technology
Journal of radioanalytical and nuclear chemistry
, p. 1245-1255
University of Antwerp
The investigation of hunter-gatherers archaeological sites in the Limay river basin, Patagonia, Argentina, raised questions concerning the lithic technology. The chemical characterization of artifacts, rocks and possible sources of provenances could help to elucidate the hunter-gatherer mobility. In three archaeological sitesRincón Chico 2 (RCh2/87; 14C 710 ± 60 BP), Cueva Traful I (CTI; 14C 9430 ± 230 BP) and Casa de Piedra de Ortega (CPO; 14C 2840 ± 80 BP), tools and debitage or discarded flakes made in black volcanic rock have been found. Nearby an extensive rock outcrop of black volcanite, Paso Limay quarry (CPL), with similar characteristics was located. Samples coming from these four sites were analyzed by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. This characterization allowed the geochemical classification of the lithic material and to correlate the samples with the suspected source after a previous statistical analysis. The majority of the samples were classified as dacites and rhyolites. Only samples coming from CPO site, the closest place to CPL were made exclusively with the quarry rocks. A set of five samples from RCh2/87 and two samples from CTI appear to have same chemical composition as CPL in spite of this site is placed in the opposite bank of the Limay river suggesting that hunter-gatherers could accede to the quarry, eventually. Finally, only a set of five samples coming from RCh2/87 and CTI do not group with the quarry. This fact evidences the existence of secondary sources of supply. The information of this research allowed inferring ancient human mobility patterns in the region.