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Between plants and people: analysis of microbotanical remains of funerary contexts at the Monte Castelo shell mound, Middle Guaporé/RO

Grant number: 21/00705-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Principal researcher:Jennifer Watling
Grantee:Joseane Pereira da Silva
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/25157-0 - Peoples, plants and landscapes in Amazônia, AP.JP


This project proposes the systematic analysis of microbotanical remains in the Monte Castelo shell mound, an archaeological site located in the Guaporé Wetlands, southwestern Amazonia. Through the extraction of microfossils contained in human dental calculus, funerary sediments and associated ceramics, we intend to investigate the role of plants in daily life and in the ritualistic practices of populations belonging to the Bacabal phase (4,300 to 700 BC). With a high concentration of ceramic evidence, lithic instruments and archaeobotanical remains, the Bacabal phase manifests itself in the upper layers of the shell mound as the last of three cultural phases recognized in the excavations of Monte Castelo, and its strata mark a time of profound changes in the landscape and management of animal and plant species. Through microbotanical analyses of the funerary contexts of the site, we intend to advance knowledge about the relationships between people and plants in the southwestern Amazon, in a period characterised by the intensification of connections between humans and landscape. (AU)

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