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Anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic sediments in rock shelter settings: using micromorphology and mineralogical analysis to tackle formation processes in Abrigo do Alvo, Abrigo Roncador and Abrigo Maximiano archaeological sites, São Paulo state, Brazil

Grant number: 20/04283-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 11, 2021
Effective date (End): June 10, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Theory and Methods in Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Astolfo Gomes de Mello Araujo
Grantee:Arlys Nicolás Batalla Crossa
Supervisor: Charles Andrew Ivey French
Host Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Cambridge, England  
Associated to the scholarship:18/14293-3 - Human-environment interactions in different sites through time: Geochemical approach to the formation of Abrigo do Alvo, Abrigo Roncador, and Abrigo Maximiano rockshelters, BP.DR


The study of microscopic materials is increasingly being incorporated by geoarchaeologists to tackle human-environment interactions at the soil/sedimentary matrix of landscapes and sites. This BEPE project aims at studying depositional and post-depositional human- and non-human-induced processes in three sheltered archaeological sites from south-eastern Brazil, by analysing microscopic components with micromorphology and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Using both intact and bulk sediment samples from Abrigo do Alvo, Abrigo Roncador and Abrigo Maximiano rock shelter sites as well as from off-site contexts, I look forward to studying fabric and components which are not detectable by other techniques. Analyses will be carried out during a five-month internship (from January to June 2021) at the Charles McBurney Laboratory for Geoarchaeology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. This will substantially contribute to the understanding of the mineral and non-mineral components that make up the depositional history of the three sites. And it will bring fundamental clues to the possible effect of authigenic minerals (e.g. phosphates) to the preservation of archaeological materials, such as bones in the Abrigo Roncador site. The internship is also intended to get in touch with scholars and the newest perspectives and current debates about geoarchaeology in a leading international environment. (AU)

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