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Dental morphology of pre-colonial human osteological series from the Southeastern coast of Brazil: contributions to the study of morphological variability in shell-mound populations

Grant number: 17/20637-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology
Principal Investigator:Veronica Wesolowski de Aguiar e Santos
Grantee:Daniel Filipe Ferreira Fidalgo
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Shell-mounds are archaeological sites widely studied in Brazilian archaeology, representing the first human occupations of the Brazilian coast. The biological variability of Brazilian shell-mound people has been studied since the end of the 19th century. In the majority of these studies, cranial morphology assumed a major role in the studies of biological variability. However, such parameters are sometimes biased by environmental factors and their study can be extremely conditioned by the state of preservation of osteological series. Even though studies based on the evaluation of discrete dental traits are still very incipient at a national level, their importance as biodistance markers has already been well defined in the literature. The aim of this work is to analyze 38 discrete dental traits, along with other associated elements, in a total of 35 osteological series from shell-mounds located between Ribeira do Iguape Valley and the State of Rio de Janeiro. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the Mean Measure of Divergence (MMD) will be the quantitative approaches for the estimation of biological affinities. It is expected that the discussion derived from the results can reinforce already existing hypothesis, or even shed light on new interpretations about these ancient migrations and population dynamics. (AU)