CHENQUES IN CENTRAL WESTERN PATAGONIA (FINAL LATE HOLOCENE, ÑIREHUAO VALLEY, 45° S, CHILE)

CHENQUES EN EL CENTRO OESTE DE PATAGONIA (HOLOCENO TARDÍO FINAL, VALLE DE ÑIREHUAO, 45° S, CHILE)

César Méndez, Omar Reyes, Amalia Nuevo Delaunay and Elvira Latorre.

The chenque funerary-type concentrates in the last millennium in the southernmost area of the Southern Cone of South America. Efforts for understanding this funerary type, its spatio-temporal distribution, and the potential of its bioanthropological information are conditioned by the partial spatial sampling, preservation of bone material, and illegal collecting. This paper presents novel information from four chenques of the Andean valley of Ñirehuao (Chile) in central Patagonia. We sought to record the maximum potential of these contexts, even when the remains were recorded in incomplete state. This paper summarizes contextual aspects of the funerary type, describes the bioanthropological characteristics of the individuals, and presents the radiocarbon dates and the stable isotopes values on bone for each of the identified individuals, as well as the results of the elemental analysis of the metallic material associated with one of them. From this, we confirm a maximum age of 1510 cal years BP. for the chenques close to the Andes of Central Patagonia, show isotopic patterns consistent with broad spectrum protein diets and reveal the presence of exotic materials suggestive of a wide-ranging transfer of goods during the 12 and 13th Centuries.

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Tags: Chenque funerary type, final Late Holocene, central western Patagonia

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