Extinct ground sloth dermal bones and their role in the taphonomic research of caves: the case of Baño Nuevo-1 (Andean Central Patagonia, Chile)

  • Patricio López-Mendoza
  • Francisco Mena-Larraín
Keywords: Dermal bones, Extinct Ground Sloth, Taphonomy, Central Patagonia, Baño Nuevo-1 cave, Chile


The results of the taphonomic analysis of extinct ground sloth dermal bones from the Baño Nuevo-1 archaeological site (Andean Central Patagonia, Chile) are presented. These pieces were recovered on all but one of the stratigraphic layers, including both the deepest levels (dated between 13,500 and 10,500 BP) and the most recent one (dated to the last century) and thus reveal complex formation processes. Since it is important to take into account this all too common depositional complexity, particularly when dealing with cave and rock shelter environments and with extinct fauna, we study the abundant ground sloth dermal bones found at the Baño Nuevo-1 cave. This effort is oriented to “make the most” (extract as much information as possible) from a single material, that is particularly abundant at this site and we believe it is especially suited to answer taphonomic questions.