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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

The Oldest Case of Decapitation in the New World (Lapa do Santo, East-Central Brazil)

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Strauss, Andre [1] ; Oliveira, Rodrigo Elias [2] ; Bernardo, Danilo V. [3, 2] ; Salazar-Garcia, Domingo C. [1, 4, 5] ; Talamo, Sahra [1] ; Jaouen, Klervia [1] ; Hubbe, Mark [6, 7] ; Black, Sue [8] ; Wilkinson, Caroline [8] ; Richards, Michael Phillip [1, 9] ; Araujo, Astolfo G. M. [2, 10] ; Kipnis, Renato [2, 11] ; Neves, Walter Alves [2]
Total Authors: 13
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[1] Max Planck Inst Evolutionary Anthropol, Dept Human Evolut, Leipzig - Germany
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biociencias, Dept Genet & Biol Evolut, Lab Estudos Evolut Humanos, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[3] Univ Fed Rio Grande, Inst Ciencias Humanas & Informacao, Rio Grande - Brazil
[4] Univ Cape Town, Dept Archaeol, ZA-7700 Rondebosch - South Africa
[5] Univ Valencia, Dept Prehist & Arqueol, Valencia - Spain
[6] Ohio State Univ, Dept Anthropol, Columbus, OH 43210 - USA
[7] Univ Catolica Norte, Inst Invest Arqueol & Museo, San Pedro De Atacama - Chile
[8] Univ Dundee, Ctr Anat & Human Identificat, Dundee - Scotland
[9] Univ British Columbia, Dept Anthropol, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9 - Canada
[10] Univ Sao Paulo, Lab Interdisciplinar Pesquisas Evolucao Cultura &, Museu Arqueol & Etnol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[11] Scientia Consultoria Cient Ltda, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 11
Document type: Journal article
Source: PLoS One; v. 10, n. 9 SEP 23 2015.
Web of Science Citations: 11

We present here evidence for an early Holocene case of decapitation in the New World (Burial 26), found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in 2007. Lapa do Santo is an archaeological site located in the Lagoa Santa karst in east-central Brazil with evidence of human occupation dating as far back as 11.7-12.7 cal kyBP (95.4% interval). An ultra-filtered AMS age determination on a fragment of the sphenoid provided an age range of 9.1-9.4 cal kyBP (95.4% interval) for Burial 26. The interment was composed of an articulated cranium, mandible and first six cervical vertebrae. Cut marks with a v-shaped profile were observed in the mandible and sixth cervical vertebra. The right hand was amputated and laid over the left side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the chin and the left hand was amputated and laid over the right side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the forehead. Strontium analysis comparing Burial 26's isotopic signature to other specimens from Lapa do Santo suggests this was a local member of the group. Therefore, we suggest a ritualized decapitation instead of trophy-taking, testifying for the sophistication of mortuary rituals among hunter-gatherers in the Americas during the early Archaic period. In the apparent absence of wealth goods or elaborated architecture, Lapa do Santo's inhabitants seemed to use the human body to express their cosmological principles regarding death. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 04/01321-6 - Origins and microevolution of man in the Americas: a paleoanthropological approach (III)
Grantee:Walter Alves Neves
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants
FAPESP's process: 08/58729-8 - Human cranial diversity and its evolutionary implications
Grantee:Danilo Vicensotto Bernardo
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 08/51747-0 - Mortuary practices characterization of the pre-historic hunter-gatherers from Lapa do Santo, Lagoa Santa (MG)
Grantee:André Menezes Strauss
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master