Difficulties and results in the assessment of lithic raw material availability. Nora Viviana Franco
SESSION 2 – Ancient lithic trade and economics
Difficulties and results in the assessment of lithic raw material availability: two cases from South Patagonia (Argentina)
In order to understand how raw materials are obtained, used and exchanged, a good knowledge of the regional lithic resource base is needed. The degree of difficulty in obtaining the necessary information would vary in relationship to geological processes affecting different regions. It should be pointed out that studies about the resource base have centred on primary sources. However, humans have frequently used secondary sources.
Here we will analyse two cases from south Patagonia in which the understanding of the lithic resource base presents different difficulties: the southern Santa Cruz River and north of the Chico River. While both areas were affected by glacial processes and present a vast majority of siliceous secondary sources, the second one is much more heterogeneous, which different availability of rocks in areas located at less than 1 km apart. This poses a problem because geochemical analysis is of limited utility and a high amount of sampling is required.