ANDEAN SUMMER-BREAK: ROCK ART INSIGHTS ON INFORMATION NETWORKS AND SOCIAL INTERACTION IN A DESERT-HIGHLAND INTERFACE IN NORTHERN PATAGONIA (SOUTH AMERICA)

Autores/as

  • Drª. Dª. Guadalupe Romero Villanueva
  • Dr. D. Gustavo F. Lucero
  • Dr. D. Ramiro Barberena

Resumen

The Andes mountain range is one key physiographic feature of South America. Since the highlands are a
very productive ecosystem only accessible in the summer, they may have been likely occupied during this
season by human groups coming from different low-altitude areas in both slopes. The goal of this paper is
to delve into trans-Andean social interaction and high-altitude human occupation strategies during the last
3000 years, which is a key period witnessing the inscription of the southern Andean landscape trough the
execution of rock art. We develop a regional case study focused on a desert-highland interface in
northwestern Patagonia (Argentina and Chile, 36-37ºS), which shows striking biogeographic and
archaeological differences between both slopes. This case is based on the combination of two main lines
of research: a) GIS landscape-modeling integrating seasonality and least cost paths to address
connectivity between Andean highlands and lowlands and b) rock art macroregional trends to assess the
materialization of information networks over the landscape. The results of our spatial analysis show that
northwestern Patagonia has a high degree of environmental variability that entails changing connectivity
profiles along the annual cycle, creating different scenarios in terms of insularity and risk for human
populations. On this basis, the analysis of human informational networks as encoded in rock art suggests
the existence of visually hierarchized environments that may have played a key role at a macro-regional
scale. Overall, these results contribute to expand the discussion on human social networks and information
exchange strategies deployed between highlands and their surrounding lowlands considering the role of
landscape connectivity.

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Publicado

2021-10-18

Número

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Artículos