The environmental context of Prôto-Je culture at Pinhal da Serra, RS, Brazil – insights from palaeoecology


Understanding the purposes and associations of burial monuments and sacred built landscapes in the Formative period of the Americas is an important research goal among archaeologists. A key step that can help us to better understand the social and spatial organisation of these cultures is determining the ecological and environmental characteristics of the landscapes within which these cultures lived and developed.

Created by the Je group in south-eastern Brazil, and with more than 30 pit houses and mortuary/ceremonial architectural structures discovered so far, Pinhal da Serra (PDS) has been key in helping to understand Formative cultures and the rise and dynamics of complex societies. Nevertheless, little is known about the relationship of this culture with its surrounding landscape.

We present palaeoecological data from a peat bog core close to archaeological excavations at Pinhal da Serra. We use fossil pollen and charcoal data to reconstruct vegetation history, land use and past agricultural practices. The results of our analyses will improve understanding of the relationship between prôto-Je cultures and the surrounding vegetation over at least the last c.2,000 years, and in turn provide new insights into the social patterns and organisation of prôto-Je culture within the highly structured landscape of PDS.

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Cite this Record

The environmental context of Prôto-Je culture at Pinhal da Serra, RS, Brazil – insights from palaeoecology. Macarena L. Cárdenas, Frank Mayle, José Iriarte, Silvia Moehlecke Cope. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395201)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;