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The pleistocene-holocene vertebrate fauna of the Abismo Ponta de Flecha (Vale do Ribeira de Iguape, Iporanga, SP): the potential role of human groups in their formation and changes in their composition over time

Grant number: 21/05877-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Prehistoric Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Maria Mercedes Martinez Okumura
Grantee:Paulo Ricardo de Oliveira Costa
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/23282-5 - Change and continuity in prehistoric human groups from Ribeira de Iguape Valley (São Paulo and Paraná): applying evolutionary theory to bioarchaeology and material culture, AP.JP


Faunal remains are a fundamental part of the study of archaeological sites, where questions related to diet, bone artifacts, and other important cultural aspects can be further explored. Inhabited by human groups since the beginning of the Holocene, the Vale do Ribeira de Iguape, in southern São Paulo state, presents great paleontological and zooarchaeological potential, especially due to the presence of a complex system of karst caves, where these materials are better preserved. Regardless of this great potential, very few studies have been developed on this topic in the region, including the potential relationships between humans and other animals in the past. A faunal assemblage composed of vertebrates, coming from a vertical cave, the Abismo Ponta de Flecha, located in Iporanga (SP), will be examined from a zooarchaeological point of view in order to gather data for the interpretation of the processes involved in its genesis, including the potential role of human groups in its formation. The hypothesis that the genesis of this faunal concentration occurred under anthropogenic influence comes from a Toxodon tooth with incision marks of unknown origin, as well as other bones presenting similar marks. The zooarchaeological analysis proposed in this work aims to interpret the genesis of this assemblage in order to identify the paleobiological and anthropological events that acted during its formation, as well as potential diachronic changes in the composition of this assemblage, which may reflect both environmental changes and choices of human groups. (AU)

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