History of Argentina

Pre-Columbian era

The area now known as Argentina was relatively sparsely populated until the period of European colonization. The earliest traces of human life are dated from the Paleolithic period, and there are further traces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. However, large areas of the interior and piedmont were apparently depopulated during an extensive dry period between 4000 and 2000 B.C.

The Uruguayan archaeologist Raúl Campá Soler divided the indigenous peoples in Argentina into three main groups: basic hunters and food gatherers, without development of pottery, advanced gatherers and hunters, and basic farmers with pottery. The second group could be found in the Pampa and south of Patagonia, and the third one included the Charrúas and Minuane people and the Guaraníes.

Some of the different groups included the Onas at Tierra del Fuego, the Yámana at the archipelago between the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, Tehuelches in the Patagonia, many peoples at the litoral, guaycurúes and wichis at Chaco. The Guaraníes had expanded across large areas of South America, but settled at the northeastern provinces of Argentina. The Toba (Komlek) nation and the Diaguita which included the Calchaqui and the Quilmes lived in the North and the Comechingones in what is today the province of Cordoba. The Charrua (which included the Minuane people), yaros, Bohanes and Chanás (and Chaná-Timbú) were located in the actual territory of Entre Ríos and the Querandí in Buenos Aires.

Spanish colonial era

Europeans first arrived in the region with the 1502 voyage of Amerigo Vespucci. The Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís visited the territory which is now Argentina in 1516. In 1536 Pedro de Mendoza established a small settlement at the modern location of Buenos Aires, which was abandoned in 1541.

A second one was established 1580 by Juan de Garay, and Córdoba in 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. Those regions were