Fire ecology, past landscapes and human interaction: contributions from pedoanthracology, Balcosna Valley, Catamarca, North-western Argentina

Lindskoug, Henrik B. - Villafanez, Emilio A.
Datos de publicación:
Fire - Microcharcoal - Paleoenvironment reconstruction - Past vegetation - Archaeology - Aguada Culture
Fire is an integral part of almost all ecosystems on Earth and an important factor in shaping our surroundings. Based on pedoanthracological research, we have reconstructed part of the past landscape and the paleoenvironmental context in an area that was populated by the Aguada Culture around 1000 CE. Pedoanthracology gives us the opportunity to recreate past fire events, including both natural fires such as wildland fires and fire produced by human activity. To understand past fire regimes and to be able to analyze the past archaeological landscape and the paleoenvironmental scenario, we focused our study on the past fire events in the Balcosna Valley, Catamarca Province, North-western Argentina, using microcharcoals extracted from sediments sampled from eight different locations in the area with a sediment corer. In total, 91 samples from the eight stations were analyzed, indicating that the Balcosna Valley was frequently affected by regular fire events in the past. These events, in turn, must have affected the people living in the area in various ways, thus creating a particular interaction between humans and fire.

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