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Boletín Científico. Centro de Museos. Museo de Historia Natural

Print version ISSN 0123-3068

Abstract

ALVAREZ-LEON, Ricardo  and  MALDONADO-PACHON, Hernando. THE CARIBBEAN MANATEE TRICHECHUS MANATUS LINNAEUS, 1758, IN THE FAUNAL THE SHELL-RUBBISH OF PUERTO CHACHO (3300 b.C.), COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN. Bol. Cient. Mus. Hist. Nat. Univ. Caldas [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.2, pp.101-119. ISSN 0123-3068.

This research is a complementary phase to those developed in the Puerto Chaco conchal located in the banks of the Canal Dike approximately 50 km away from Cartagena (department of Bolivar.) The site is formed by an approximately 80 x 25 m accumulation of shells and kitchen waste with a maximum thickness average of 1.20m. It was seasonally occupied possibly during 300 years between 3300 and 3000 AD by pre Hispanic groups who took advantage of the abundant faunistic resources of the coastal zone and the mangrove swamp at the beginning of the Early Formative Period. The archeological material found and the radiocarbon dating permit the location of those populations among the first potters in the American continent; similarly, it has evident relations with the San Jacinto material with a 4000 AD antiquity and that of Puerto Hormiga between 3000 and 2500 AD. Because of the morphological constitution of the site, a conchal, it can be easily led us to believe that the main provider factor of food has had a malacological origin. However, in the dynamics of the formation of a conchal, the elements that directly or indirectly conform it must be taken into consideration: (1) remains of mollusks shells; (2) bony remains of mammals, fish, reptiles, and occasionally, birds; (3) humic lenses, and (4) carbonaceous lenses. As far as mammals is concerned, vertebrae, ribs, shoulder blades, young and adult skulls of the Trichechus manatus, Caribbean Manatee stand out.

Keywords : archaeofauna; shell-rubbish; Caribbean manatee; Puerto Chacho; Caribbean Sea; Colombia.

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