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Peoples, plants and landscapes in Amazônia

Grant number: 17/25157-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
Duration: September 01, 2018 - April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Jennifer Watling
Grantee:Jennifer Watling
Host Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Anne Rapp Py-Daniel ; Bruna Cigaran da Rocha ; Carlos Augusto Zimpel Neto ; Claide de Paula Moraes ; Eduardo Bespalez ; Eduardo Góes Neves ; Fernando Ozorio de Almeida ; Francis Edward Mayle ; Francisco Antonio Pugliese Junior ; Gabriela Prestes Carneiro ; Guilherme Zdonek Mongeló ; Juliana Rossato Santi ; Laura Pereira Furquim ; Manuel Alexander arroyo kalin ; MARTIN TORRES CASTRO ; Myrtle Pearl Shock ; Paulo Eduardo de Oliveira ; Silvana Zuse ; Thiago Kater Pinto ; Tiago Hermenegildo ; Veronica Wesolowski de Aguiar e Santos ; Vinicius Eduardo Honorato de Oliveira ; Ximena Suarez Villagran
Associated scholarship(s):21/10041-2 - Creation of an online database of archaeobotanical reference collections from Amazonia, BP.IC
21/09694-1 - Creation of a microbotanical reference collection at LabMicro, MAE/USP, BP.IC
21/00705-0 - Between plants and people: analysis of microbotanical remains of funerary contexts at the Monte Castelo shell mound, Middle Guaporé/RO, BP.MS
+ associated scholarships 18/26679-3 - Relationships and movements: an archeology of cropping and mobility patterns in Southwestern Amazon, from 1.000 A.D. to the present, BP.DR
18/24509-3 - Archaeological diversity in the upper Madeira River basin, BP.DR
18/19152-9 - PEOPLES, PLANTS AND LANDSCAPES IN AMAZONIA, BP.JP - associated scholarships


Over the last five years, debates surrounding the extent to which pre-colonial societies were involved in shaping Amazonian forests have intensified to sit once again at the forefront of discussions within the archaeological and ecological disciplines, while also winning public interest. Despite the advances in empirical data that are being gained, there are two key issues, which are currently holding back a more nuanced understanding of Amazonian landscape histories. The first is the tendency for palaeoecological studies to project findings across extremely large, culturally unrelated areas of the Amazon basin, much of which remains to be explored archaeologically -in other words, a problem of representativeness. The second issue is the lack of in-depth, closely-combined archaeological and palaeoecological research programmes that allow us to reconstruct the historical-ecological trajectories of specific places within Amazônia and verify the time depth of anthropogenic forests. Without local case studies, we will never be able to reconstruct the bigger picture, nor use our data constructively to inform modern-day environmental debates. To this end, this Jovem Pesquisador Project aims to shed light on the deep and complex relationships between peoples, plants and landscapes at four very different archaeological sites situated within four very different Amazonian environments. The methodological focus of the project is upon microarchaeology, mainly microbotanical and micromorphological analyses, and we include within the budget plans to extend LabMicro at MAE/USP by constructing a new, state-of-the-art, laboratory for sample processing and expanding current microscope facilities. The laboratory will provide a much-needed resource in an ever-growing field of research within which the museum should be at the forefront. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FURQUIM, LAURA P.; WATLING, JENNIFER; HILBERT, LAUTARO M.; SHOCK, MYRTLE P.; PRESTES-CARNEIRO, GABRIELA; CALO, CRISTINA MARILIN; PY-DANIEL, ANNE R.; BRANDAO, KELLY; PUGLIESE, FRANCISCO; ZIMPEL, CARLOS AUGUSTO; et al. Facing Change through Diversity: Resilience and Diversification of Plant Management Strategies during the Mid to Late Holocene Transition at the Monte Castelo Shellmound, SW Amazonia. QUATERNARY, v. 4, n. 1, . (19/07794-9, 17/25157-0, 16/03400-8)
WATLING, JENNIFER; CASTRO, MARTIN TORRES; SIMON, MARCELO F.; RODRIGUES, FLAVIO O.; DE MEDEIROS, MARCELO BRILHANTE; DE OLIVEIRA, PAULO E.; NEVES, EDUARDO G.. Phytoliths from native plants and surface soils from the Upper Madeira river, SW Amazonia, and their potential for paleoecological reconstruction. QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL, v. 550, p. 85-110, . (17/25157-0, 17/09718-2, 14/21207-5)
IRIARTE, JOSE; ELLIOTT, SARAH; MAEZUMI, S. YOSHI; ALVES, DAIANA; GONDA, REGINA; ROBINSON, MARK; DE SOUZA, JONAS GREGORIO; WATLING, JENNIFER; HANDLEY, JOSEPHINE. The origins of Amazonian landscapes: Plant cultivation, domestication and the spread of food production in tropical South America. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, v. 248, . (17/25157-0)

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