Accepted Paper:

Investigating Plant Management in the Tucumã (Pará-Brazil) and Monte Castelo (Rondônia- Brazil) ShellMidden using Phytoliths Analysis  


Lautaro Maximilian Hilbert
Denise Schaan (Universidade Federal do Pará)
Jose Iriarte (University of Exeter)

Paper short abstract:

This proposition will study the micro botanical remains of two early Holocene shell mounds located in the Brazilian lowland Amazon. In order to comprehend the dietary preferences of these inhabitants, the main tool for this study will stem from phytolith analyses.

Paper long abstract:

This proposition will address and evaluate the micro botanical remains of the Monte Castelo (9343 calB.P) shell mound in the south western lowland Amazonia (state of Rondonia) and the sambaqui do Tucumã (7.000 -4.000 B.P) located in south-east lower Amazon River (state of Para). The focus in identifying and evaluating the floral dietary peculiarities of these specific pre-Colombian settlements derives from the principle that the south and south-east Brazilian shell mound occupants are known to have had a broad-spectrum diet based on the exploration of their environment. The mound inhabitants are referred on modern dietary studies as fisher-hunter mollusc and plant gatherer societies. However the presence of plants processing tools collected in the previously referred sites (Monte Castelo and Tucumã) leads to the main question that guides this research: is possible to comprehend the mound inhabitants of Monte Castelo and Tucumã as part of an agricultural sustainable society?

Panel P31
Indigenous populations-vegetation-climate relationship in the past: what can this teach us about sustainable vegetation use in the present?