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Botanical Microtraces in lithic artifacts of the Lapa do Santo site (Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais)

Grant number: 17/01769-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 27, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Ximena Suarez Villagran
Grantee:Daniela Dias Ortega
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):17/25020-5 - Botanical micro remains in lithic artifacts of the Lapa do Santo site (Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais), BE.EP.MS


Early Holocene hunter-gatherer populations in the Lagoa Santa region, in Minas Gerais, had a diet with important vegetable consumption. The functionality of cutting and scraping of the region could indicate a function related to plant processing. In human remnants, there were observed large amounts of caries, which could have resulted or aggravated by the consumption of foods with a high carbohydrate content, such as amylaceous plants. This research intends to analyze the starch grains retained in lithic instruments of the Lapa do Santo site, in Lagoa Santa, to understand if the instruments would have been used to process amylaceous plants and, as a corollary, to determine whether these resources played an important role in the diet of the people of the region at the beginning of the Holocene. In addition, there will be tested the efficacy of a protocol specifically created and applied during the excavation, aiming to maximize the recovery of botanical microtraces retained in lithic instruments and minimize contamination. (AU)