Authored by: Marina L. Sardi

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415588577
eBook ISBN: 9780203838716
Adobe ISBN: 9781136879562


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Descriptions about aboriginal populations that inhabited Argentina began in the 16th century, a few decades after the European conquest. However, it was during the 19th century that travellers and explorers, most of them of European origin, carried out more systematic studies. In the second half of the 19th century, when the Argentine state was not yet consolidated, the government looked to define its political frontiers by expanding its economic control over vast territories, as well as over aboriginal populations (Podgorny 1999, 2008; Podgorny and Lopes 2008). For this reason, the Argentine State organized military and scientific missions in order to increase the knowledge about its geography and human populations (Podgorny 1999, 2008; Podgorny and Lopes 2008; Farro 2009). The war against these aborigines, known as La Conquista del Desierto (‘The Conquest of the Desert’), began in 1879 and resulted in thousands of native people being killed or captured.

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