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Geoarchaeology of shell middens in the national forest of Caxiuanã - Amazonia

Grant number: 22/11325-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): November 15, 2022
Effective date (End): May 14, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Ximena Suarez Villagran
Grantee:Mayara Cristina Pereira Mariano
Supervisor: Christopher Evan Miller
Host Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:21/06293-6 - Geoarcheology of shell house in Flona de Caxiuanã, Amazônia, Pará, BP.MS


Shell middens are archaeological sites whose matrices are built from the anthropogenic accumulation of shells and organic matter. In Brazil, they are called sambaqui and are located along the Atlantic coast and further inland near rivers and/or bays. Although shell middens are present on almost the entire Brazilian coast, some areas have been systematically researched, such as the south and southeast regions that have produced information about the way of life, social organization, formation of the archeological record, paleopathology, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, and interpretations of the symbolic and social world of the shell midden societies. The available data on Amazonian shell middens indicate the presence of autochthonous and ancient pottery, however, information on the variability and formation process of amazonian shell middens is still scarce. From a geoarchaeological approach, this project aims to study the formation process of the Forte site, a shell middens located inside the Caixuanã National Forest (PA), using the method of archaeofacies analysis, with soil micromorphology as the main analytical technique. With this research, we will advance in the understanding of Amazonian shell middens, through in-depth site formation process analyses that can offer information about daily life, resource and landscape use, and the economy of amazonian shell middens societies. (AU)

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