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Cranial morphological diversity, microevolution and occupation of the Ribeira de Iguape Valley by human groups in the Holocene

Grant number: 20/07873-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Maria Mercedes Martinez Okumura
Grantee:Thomas Massayoshi Kohatsu
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/23282-5 - Change and continuity in prehistoric human groups from Ribeira de Iguape Valley (São Paulo and Paraná): applying evolutionary theory to bioarchaeology and material culture, AP.JP


The construction of mounds was a common habit in several prehistoric populations around the world. In Brazil, there are several prehistoric prehistoric sites that can be described as mounds, among them, coastal shell mounds, Pantanal embankments, Cerritos in the south of the country and riverine shell mounds. In relation to the latter, the Ribeira de Iguape River Valley stands out as a region of great concentration of these archaeological sites. This region is currently being studied in the project Continuity and Change in Prehistoric Groups in the Ribeira de Iguape Valley (São Paulo and Paraná): Applications of Evolutionary Theory to Bioarcheology and Material Culture Studies, coordinated by Mercedes Okumura, and the present project is one of several related to the aforementioned project. This Scientific Initiation Project aims to explore the biological affinity among individuals associated with riverine shell mounds and other Brazilian prehistoric groups, including those related to coastal shell mounds and sites from the interior of the country. This comparison will be made through the analysis of craniometrics data (54 linear measures described by W. W. Howells) and the application of multivariate statistical methods different from those used in previous works. In addition, taking into account that the Ribeira de Iguape Valley presented three distinct periods of occupation throughout the Holocene, it is expected to test the association between human groups in the Ribeira de Iguape Valley from a chronological point of view as well.

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