, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 209-228

Archaeological Perspectives on the Ranquel Chiefdoms in the North of the Dry Pampas, in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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Abstract

In this article, I present some results of the archaeological study about the cultural manifestation of the Ranquels. This Indian group occupied the north part of the province of La Pampa, Argentina, from the late eighteenth century until the end of the nineteenth century. Through a perspective that links the theoretical and methodological purposes of historical archaeology of the landscape, I analyze the settlements' distributions, the access to natural resources, the methods of circulation, and the strategies of interethnic conflict with the national army and the colonists on the border area. Taking into consideration the archaeological record and its contrast with written sources, I have defined some indicators about the process of culture change. My special interest concerns changes in nineteenth-century Ranquel material culture produced before the dissolution of the ethnic groups because of the military actions of the “desert conquest.”