, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 321-355

The Prehistoric Exploration and Colonization of Fuego-Patagonia

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The main goal of this paper is to review the earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of humans in Fuego-Patagonia. The paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic framework is briefly introduced, followed by a discussion of its relevance to understanding the exploration and colonization of Fuego-Patagonia. Technological and faunal evidence from a number of sites from the southern extreme older than 10,000 B.P. is analyzed. This leads to the conclusion that an early entry, at least 12,000 years old, appears best to accommodate the available chronological evidence. On the other hand, data from the Northern fringes of Patagonia clearly suggest an earlier human colonization.