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The suppression of African culture in the history of São Paulo: archaeological and historiographical perspectives

Grant number: 20/08769-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Historical Archaeology
Principal researcher:André Menezes Strauss
Grantee:Laura Lisboa de Freitas
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 Liberdade neighborhood, localized in the central region of São Paulo, is well-known for being a reference of oriental culture and traditions. The investment of historiographical studies in the region has provided the rescue of historical and developmental memory of the neighborhood, in addition to make possible the identification of late public edifications that demonstrated to be mainly attended by poor, slaved and marginalized individuals, evidences that showed themselves to be different from the current conception. In 2018, during an archaeological rescue in one of the occupied territories of the neighborhood, a potentially satisfactory archaeological context that could corroborate with the region occupation hypothesis in the nineteenth century, was identified. It were found nine human burials in the archeological site relative to the ancient "Cemitério dos Aflitos" burial ground. These evidences can be effective to support the premise of black presence in the Liberdade neighborhood, however systematic analysis for information identification, regarding the origin and physical attributes of the individuals, were not accomplished yet. Thus, the present project pretends to perform an osteological analysis of the collected material, objectifying the biological profile description and their geographical origin determination, based on strontium isotopes analysis (87 Sr/ 86 Sr). Initiating from this study and correlating historical and African diaspora archaeological studies, it is intended to interpret a possible context of those populations narrative suppression.

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