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Between mountains and glacial valleys. Archeology in the mountain ranges of the central strip of Tierra del Fuego.
Hernán De Angelis  1@  , María Mansur, Vanesa Parmigiani * , Celina Alvarez Soncini * , Anna Franch * @
1 : Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas  (CADIC-CONICET)
* : Corresponding author

The central strip of the Great Island of Tierra del Fuego is an area that has important mountain ranges of different origin, which were modelled by different glacial events. The topography and the characteristics of the geological formations, such as their rock diversity, made this area an environment rich in biotic and abiotic resources. This allowed the development of various subsistence activities of hunter-gatherer societies.

For at least 10 years we have developed prospections and archaeological surveys in the area, as well as systematic excavations at various sites on both shores of Fagnano lake (or according to its original name, Kami lake). Several objectives guided this research, including understanding site formation mechanisms, raw material supply sources, technological and functional characteristics of the lithic assemblages, landscape occupation and resource exploitation in the different environments of this area of Tierra del Fuego (mountain environment is one of them). However, recently we have focused our attention on human circulation in the mountainous area, in order to contribute to the mobility models of hunter-gatherer societies.

In this study area, there is ethnographic, ethnohistorical and archaeological evidence of contact between the groups that lived north and south of the mountain range. This contact was made through mountain passages, some of which are known and used today as tourist circuits, such as the Beban pass or the Bridges trail. However, there are also passages that should have allowed west-east mobility. Therefore, we ask if the shores of Fagnano lake could have worked as axes in the nomadic movements in that direction, thus connecting the eastern (Atlantic ocean) and western (strait of Magellan) coasts of the Island. At present, the results of field research and the study of ethnographic records suggest that utilisation of this and other corridors would have allowed the circulation of various types of goods and / or the acquisition of exotic resources by the populations that inhabited the island.

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