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Chungará (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7356

Resumen

FRANK, Ariel D. HEAT TREATMENT AND HEAT DAMAGE OF LITHIC ARTIFACTS FROM THE EARLY COMPONENTS OF SITE CASA DEL MINERO 1, SANTA CRUZ, ARGENTINA. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2012, vol.44, n.1, pp. 25-37. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562012000100003.

In this paper, I analyze the lithic assemblage of two components from Casa del Minero 1 site -La María archaeological locality, in the Central Plateau of Santa Cruz. This site is 155 masl, with dates ranging from 11,000 to 10,250 years before present. I study the potential causes of the thermal alteration seen in these materials, distinguishing intentional from accidental causes. To that end, I study typological characteristics and the macroscopic indicators of thermal alteration in the assemblage: their location on the flakes and analysis of the production sequences allow me to identify heat treatment as well as other thermal alteration processes. In addition, I examined the distribution of these artifacts to determine whether they were located near hearths. Heat treated remains, especially those on red flint, are plentiful in Unit 4; many bifacial thinning flakes show thermal luster. I argue that heat treatment was conducted on blanks. In Unit 3C there are few artifacts altered by heat. The wide variety and high dispersion of raw materials that possibly received this form of treatment may indicate that this was performed in an area that has not been excavated. The thermal alteration of damaged artifacts was not due to heat treatment. These are very scarce and were found in grids that had hearths, and as such I suggest that the thermal damage was caused by an accidental fall into the hearths.

Palabras clave : Heat treatment; thermal damage; Santa Cruz; hunter-gatherers; fire management.

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