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From funerary taphonomy to mortuary practices: a case study of the archaeological site 'Caixa d'Água' (Buritizeiro - mg)

Grant number: 19/12981-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Principal Investigator:André Menezes Strauss
Grantee:Ana Claudia Albuquerque Borella
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/16451-2 - Virtual anthropology and archaeogenomics of pre-colonial Brazil, AP.JP


The mortuary practices of the human groups that inhabited Central Brazil during the Middle Holocene are still largely unknown by Brazilian Archeology due to the scarcity of sites of this period. The archaeological site Caixa D'água, located on the banks of the São Francisco River, in the municipality of Buritizeiro (MG), is an important exception, because it has dozens of putatively dated skeletons of the Middle Holocene. In the present project this material will be studied under the perspective of Funerary Taphonomy - a theoretical current still inedited in Brazil. The Skeletons will be cured and diagnosed for sex and age from osteological markers. Radiocarbon dating on collagen extracted from bone will be done during BEPE stage at the Kimmel Center of Archaeological Science in Israel. A database in binary matrix format with the information recorded in the field and in the laboratory of the burials will be elaborated. The information will be interpreted from the view of Funerary Taphonomy. These data will be analyzed through multivariate statistics for the identification of funerary patterns. With these results, we will investigate the correlation between funerary organization and the material culture associated with skeletons.