Connectivity beyond the floodplains: the case of the upper Tapajós

Author(s): Bruna Rocha; Vinicius Oliveira

Year: 2017


The first millennium AD saw an increase in population density throughout much of Amazonia; this is testified by an increase in the number and size of coeval archaeological sites, many of which include anthropogenic dark earths, widely considered as proxies for intensive and continuous human habitation and alteration of the environment. The Terra Preta do Mangabal and Sawre Muybu sites were village settlements occupied from c.700AD and c.900AD respectively, located along the rapids of the upper Tapajós river. In spite of this geographical barrier, ceramics and lithics excavated from these sites suggest connections to faraway areas, reaching as far north as the Caribbean and south to the Brazilian shield. These materials simultaneously materialise local technological practices, processes of transmission, innovation and appropriation. As such they are well suited for an exploration of approaches related to the concepts of communities and constellations of practice. Following an exposition of the sites and their materials, a comparison with the wider region will be presented. This will enable an evaluation of the interpretative potential of "communities and constellations of practice" and related concepts to provide us with tools to study past historical processes and social boundaries on local and regional scales.

Cite this Record

Connectivity beyond the floodplains: the case of the upper Tapajós. Bruna Rocha, Vinicius Oliveira. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429501)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15305