Wood resource exploitation by Late Holocene occupations in central Argentina: Fire making in rockshelters of the Ongamira valley (Córdoba, Argentina)
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This paper presents the results of a study of firewood use and management by human groups in the Ongamira valley, Córdoba, Argentina (dated between c. 5700-950 BP). In order to understand firewood gathering practices at different periods in the Late Holocene, samples from 63 combustion events recorded in 9 rockshelters were analysed. From the anthracological analysis (14,976 fragments) 19 woody taxa, and 4 botanically indeterminate taxa, were identified belonging to Chaco Serrano forest vegetation. The identification of abundant small flat fireplaces suggests short-lived activities repeated over time. A detailed analysis of the samples (types of fire pits, alterations during combustion and taphonomic processes) permits inferring firewood gathering in the local vegetation around the sites, as well as some taxa belonging to different environmental settings. Archaeological evidence indicates that groups were mobile, with the establishment of a network of places in the landscape where different activities were carried out (tool production, food consumption and pottery manufacture) with fire making as a central activity. People in the past constantly used different places in the valley, focusing many of their activities in rockshelters.