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Archaeological compounds at the Southern Brazilian coast: the archaeology of the surroundings of coastal shell mounds of Santa Catarina, Brazil, based on geophysical and geological surveying methods

Grant number: 12/02678-1
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2012 - October 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology
Principal Investigator:Paulo Antônio Dantas de Blasis
Grantee:Paulo Antônio Dantas de Blasis
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Jorge Luís Porsani

Abstract

This research project aims to take the archaeological investigations regarding the mounbuilding culture from the southern Brazilian coast outside the mounds themselves, examining the surroundings of the great shell mounds at the southern coast of Santa Catarina in search of elements that might shed some light into the interpretive model built by the previous research in the area concerning these monumental structures. To do so, we propose to investigate the dune fields that surround the big coastal shell mounds through remote surveying using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in order to map buried structures by imaging them underground. We intend to integrate the GPR survey with core samples and the acquisition of GPS data through the real time kinematic (RTK) system, so being able to decrease the ambiguity of the geophysical interpretation and rely on a highly accurate determination of the spatial dispositions of the imaged elements. We also intend to develop a method capable of covering large areas in a short time and in a less interventive procedure, capable of surveying areas where the archaeological record is not superficially perceptible, or does so in a rather elusive way. Finally, we will test the hypothesis that the eolian deposition can favor the preservation of the archaeological record, even if some transformation somehow takes place. (AU)