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Root, Fruit and Dirt: using ethnoarchaeology and archaebotany for constructing reference collections of plants in activity areas in Eastern Amazon

Author(s): Leandro Cascon ; Rui Murrieta

Year: 2016

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Summary

In the Brazilian State of Pará, Eastern Amazon, indigenous Asurini populations living in the middle course of the Xingú River currently face the challenge of maintaining traditional lifeways in a situation of great ecological and social change, due to the construction of Belo Monte, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams. Amongst their practices, the cultivation of diverse varieties of manihot, sweet-potato, beans, maize and other crops is an important aspect of Asurini culture, and one which they have strived to maintain through over a century of conflict-induced migrations. The work here presented is the result of an ongoing study conducted amongst the Asurini, with the objective of better understanding the diverse importances that cultivated plants possess amongst these populations as well as of assessing how these different forms of use may be identified in the Asurini archaeological record in the region, using the comparative analysis of phytoliths and starch grains found in artifact and soil samples from present day activity areas as well as from past Asurini villages.


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Root, Fruit and Dirt: using ethnoarchaeology and archaebotany for constructing reference collections of plants in activity areas in Eastern Amazon. Leandro Cascon, Rui Murrieta. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403185)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America