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Dating samples from Santa Marta II Shellmound in Santa Catarina State, Brazil

Grant number: 16/07257-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Shigueo Watanabe
Grantee:Bruna Cortez
Host Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/03085-0 - Quaternary geochronology of Southeastern and Southern coast of Brazil, AP.TEM


Large number of shell mounds are found in the Brazilian coast, mainly in the South and Southeast. Some of them are of 20 to 30 meters of height and are located in the state of Santa Catarina in the região of Tubarão, Jaguaruna, and Laguna. Their giant shell mounds have attracted the attention of several archaeologists since the decade of 1990. Originally, shell mounds have been considered mounds of consumed shells and fishes. These giant shell mounds have shown that many of them were used as burial places with religious acts. Many datings were carried out, mainly, using shells and charcoals. A radiocarbon method has been used. The aim of the present project is to collect samples (sediments plus shells) principally from the bases of shell mounds for dating. We expect that ages obtained from such samples provide us with the beginning of production of shell mound possibly correlated with ancient (first) inhabitants from the region. TL, EPR, and OSL methods will be used for dating Samples from one to two meters higher levels also will be dated to find time took to reach this level from the beginning.

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