SEASONALITY AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS OF THE FIRST SOCIETIES IN THE BOLIVIAN AMAZON DURING THE HOLOCENE (CA. 11 – 2 KA CAL BP)

  • Garcia Escarzaga, Asier (Principal Investigator)
  • Lombardo ., Umberto (Principal Investigator 2)
  • Arniz Mateos, Rosa (Collaborator)
  • Bello Alonso, Patricia María (Collaborator)
  • Capriles Flores, José (Collaborator)
  • Comes Bordas, Pau (Collaborator)
  • Duarte Simoes, Carlos (Collaborator)
  • Fossile ., Thiago (Collaborator)
  • Mcgrath , Krista Michelle (Collaborator)
  • Morrel Rovira, Berta (Collaborator)
  • Neves Fernandes, Luis Ricardo (Collaborator)
  • Quintera Icera, Maria Ángeles (Collaborator)
  • Rossetti Nivela, Patrick (Collaborator)
  • Suárez Revilla, Roberto (Collaborator)
  • Villanueva Ribes, Juan (Collaborator)
  • de Winter, Niels (Collaborator)
  • García-Piquer, Albert (Investigator)

Project Details

Description

THIS TWO YEARS INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT AIMS TO RECONSTRUCT THE SETTLEMENT AND SUBSISTENCE STRATEGY PATTERNS OF PRE-COLUMBIAN SOCIETIES IN SW AMAZONIA DURING THE HOLOCENE (CA. 11 – 2 KA CAL BP). RECENT RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT THE LLANOS DE MOXOS IN THE BOLIVIAN AMAZON HOSTS AN UNPARALLELED ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD, MADE UP OF 4700 SITES SPANNING 8300 YEARS AND DISTRIBUTED OVER 100,000 KM2. THESE SITES, CALLED FOREST ISLANDS, HAVE BEING FORMED BY THE FIRST INHABITANTS OF THE AMAZON. PREVIOUS STUDIES LED BY ONE OF THE PIS OF THE PRESENT PROJECT HAVE SHOWN THAT THE FOREST ISLANDS FORMED AS MIDDENS THAT INCLUDE MANY FRESHWATER SHELLS AND ANIMAL BONES, BESIDE OF HUMAN BURIALS. THESE SETTLEMENTS ALSO SERVED AS GARDENS. PRECISELY, THIS IS ONE OF THE FIRST WORLD CENTRES OF PLANT DOMESTICATION. A KEY ASPECT OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD HERE, IS THAT THE DENSITY OF SITES IS FAR HIGHER THAN IN ANY MODERN ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALOGUE. IN ORDER TO ESTIMATE THE PRE-COLUMBIAN POPULATION PRESSURE OVER THE ENVIRONMENT, THEIR SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES, WE NEED TO ASSESS WHAT TYPE OF SETTLEMENTS THE FOREST ISLANDS WERE. THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF FIRSTAMAZONS WILL BE TO INVESTIGATE IF THE FOREST ISLANDS WERE SEASONAL OR PERMANENT OCCUPATIONS. TO ACHIVE THIS OBJECTIVE, FIRSTAMAZONS WILL ADOPT AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH, INTEGRATING CONVENTIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY WITH STATE-OF-ART GEOARCHAEOLOGY, BIOMARKERS, PALEOCLIMATOLOGY AND CUTTING-EDGE ISOTOPIC AND PALAEOPROTEOMIC ANALYSES. WE WILL EXCAVATE TWO FOREST ISLANDS AMONG THOSE ALREADY DATED, WHICH WE ALREADY KNOW COVER FROM EARLY TO LATE HOLOCENE. FIRSTAMAZONS WILL APPLY RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, STABLE OXYGEN ISOTOPE, CARBONATE CLUMPED ISOTOPES AND TRACE ELEMENT ANALYSES TO MODERN AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SHELLS OF THE FRESHWATER MOLLUSC POMACEA SPP. THESE ANALYSES WILL ALLOW US TO TEST TO WHAT EXTENT POMACEA CAN BE USED AS PROXY FOR PALEO-TEMPERATURES AND PALEO-PRECIPITATIONS AND ESTABLISH THE PERIOD OF RECOLLECTION OF THE SHELLS INTO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES. BY COMBINING ISOTOPIC DATA FROM THE SHELLS WITH THE CARBON AND NITROGEN ISOTOPE ANALYSIS OF DENTINE RECOVERED FROM BURIALS; THE ANALYSIS OF FAUNAL REMAINS; TRACE WEAR AND MICROMORPHOLOGY WE WILL BE ABLE TO CHARACTERIZE THE FEEDING PATTERNS OF THE FIRST INHABITANTS OF THE AMAZON AND THE INTENSITY AND SEASONALITY OF OCCUPATION OF THE STUDIED SITES. FIRSTAMAZONS COUNTS ON TWO PIS WITH EXCELLENT SCIENTIFIC RECORDS AND A COMPLEMENTARY WORKING EXPERIENCE THAT COVER ALL THE ASPECTS OF THE PROJECTS. IN ADDITION, THE PROJECT WILL COUNT ON AN EXPERT IN LITHICS, AN EXPERT SPATIAL/COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS, AND AN EXPERT IN SPECTROSCOPY (RAMAN AND LIBS) IN THE RESEARCH GROUP AND TWELVE MORE INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS IN THE WORKING TEAM. THE WORKING TEAM ALSO INCLUDES A BOLIVIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST WHO WILL SUPERVISE THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BOLIVIAN LAW. THE RESULTS OF THE PROJECT WILL PROVIDE A VERY THOROUGHLY DOCUMENTED CASE STUDY AGAINST WHICH OTHER MODELS AND RECONSTRUCTIONS OF OCCUPATION PATTERNS OF SIMILAR SITES CAN BE COMPARED. THE RESULTS OF THE PROJECT HAVE BROAD IMPLICATIONS ACROSS SEVERAL DISCIPLINES, SUCH AS ARCHAEOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, PALEOCLIMATOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/09/2331/08/25

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