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Health, stress and adaptation in the processes of social complexity in ancient coastal populations of South America

Grant number: 12/06667-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biology
Principal Investigator:Sabine Eggers
Grantee:Juliana Gómez Mejía
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The processes of social complexity in South America occurred in a particular way because of the diversity of biomes, the available resources and the cultural variability. The groups of hunter-gatherers in the inland, coastal fishers and gatherers, and farming populations who inhabited these areas for millennia, have developed complex subsistence strategies in which health was affected in a particular way. The present study aims to evaluate, from the Bioarchaeology perspective, the impact that the changes in the processes of social complexity and subsistence patterns have had on health and adaptation of the groups that have settled in the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America during the middle and late Holocene, because different processes are observed associated with the introduction of agriculture in these two regions over time. From a systematic comparison of bony stress markers of growth and nutrition, oral health, infectious diseases and occupational activities at intragroup and intergroup levels, we seek to reconstruct a broader picture of the way and the quality of life of ancient coastal South America, highlighting the importance of adaptive processes that remain in the osteological record. This comparison is necessary to contribute to the discussion and understanding about what the variables are that modulate the process of social complexity and the development of a farming way of life.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MEJÍA, Juliana Gómez. Quality of life and dynamics of conflict in the populations from Paracas peninsula, south coast of Peru, during the final Early Horizon (400 B.C - AD.100). 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB) São Paulo.

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