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Archaeological Mounds in Marajo Island in Northern Brazil: A Geological Perspective Integrating Remote Sensing and Sedimentology

Texto completo
Rossetti, Dilce de Fatima [1] ; Goes, Ana Maria [2] ; de Toledo, Peter Mann [1]
Número total de Autores: 3
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Inst Nacl Pesquisas Espaciais, BR-12245970 Sao Jose Dos Campos, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Geociencias, Programa Posgrad Geoquim & Geotecton, BR-05508080 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 2
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Citações Web of Science: 7

Earthen mounds with archaeological artifacts have been well known in Marajo Island since the 19th century. Their documented dimensions are impressive, e.g., up to 20m high, and with areas large as 90 ha. The mounds, locally known as lesos, impose a significant. relief on the very low-lying landscape of this region, which averages 4 to 6 in above present. sea level. These features have been traditionally interpreted as artificial constructions of the Marajoara culture, designed for defense, cemetery purposes, or escape from flooding. Here, we provide sedimentological and geomorphological data that suggest an alternative origin for these structures that is more consistent with their monumental sizes. Rather than artificial, the Marajoara tesos seem to consist of natural morphological features related to late Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial, and possibly tidal-influenced, paleochannels and paleobars that became abandoned as depositional conditions changed through dine. Although utilized and modified by the Marajoara since at least 2000 years ago, these earthen mounds contain a significant non-anthropogenically modified sedimentary substratum. Therefore, the large Marajoara tesos are not entirely artificial. Ancient, Marajoara cultures took advantage of these natural, preexisting elevated surfaces to base their communities and develop their activities, locally increasing the sizes of these fluvial landforms. This alternative interpretation suggests less cumulative labor investment, in the construction of the mounds and might. have significant implications for reconstructing the organization of the Marajoara culture. (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 04/15518-6 - Integração de dados biológicos e geológicos no Baixo Tocantins-Ilha do Marajó: chave na análise da biodiversidade
Beneficiário:Dilce de Fátima Rossetti
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Regular