Hunter Gatherer Research

Constructed seascapes in southern Brazil

Hunter Gatherer Research (2017), 3, (1), 87–105.

Abstract

For many years, normative approaches to shell mound archaeology in Brazil have characterised hunter-gatherer-fisher populations as nomadic groups whose mound sites represent accidental accumulations of refuse, despite the fact that almost all contain numerous burials. A shift in perspective, especially regarding the role of aquatic resources, allowed great advances in the understanding of mound-building activities. A dramatic transformation of the southern Brazilian coast by hunter-gathererfisher communities began about 4000 years ago. During the next two millennia, the coastal plain housed monumental accumulations of shells, some reaching almost 50 m in height. Research focused on the ceremonial context of mound construction, and the associations between monumentality and ritual performance provide the basis for reconsideration of Brazilian shell mounds as structures that memorialise territoriality, tradition and ancestral ties. Molluscs and other animal remains that contributed to the construction of these mounds transmit these essential messages, in addition to providing important signals regarding subsistence and ecological conditions.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Afonso, MC & DeBlasis, P 1994. Aspectos da formação de um grande sambaqui: alguns indicadores em Espinheiros II, Joinville. Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 4:21–30. Aspectos da formação de um grande sambaqui: alguns indicadores em Espinheiros II, Joinville Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 4 21 30 Google Scholar

Assunção, D 2010. Sambaquis da paleolaguna de Santa Marta: em busca do contexto regional no litoral sul de Santa Catarina. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, Universidade de São Paulo. Google Scholar

Aveiro, MV 2007. Análise nutricional, microbiológica e histológica do berbigão Anomalocardia brasiliana da Reserva Extrativista Marinha do Pirajubaé (REMAPI), Florianópolis/SC. Unpublished PhD thesis, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Google Scholar

Bandeira, D 1992. Mudança na estratégia de subsistência – o sítio arqueológico Enseada I – um estudo de caso. Unpublished MA thesis, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Google Scholar

Bandeira, D, Oliveira, EL & Santos, AP 2009. Estudo estratigráfico do perfil nordeste do Sambaqui Cubatão I, Joinville/SC. Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 19:119–142. Estudo estratigráfico do perfil nordeste do Sambaqui Cubatão I, Joinville/SC Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 19 119 142 Google Scholar

Barreira, CA & Araújo, ML 2005. Ciclo reprodutivo de anomalocardia Brasiliana (Gmelin, 1791) (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Veneridae) na praia do canto da Barra, Fortim, Ceará, Brasil. Boletim do Instituto da Pesca 31(1):9–20. Ciclo reprodutivo de anomalocardia Brasiliana (Gmelin, 1791) (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Veneridae) na praia do canto da Barra, Fortim, Ceará, Brasil Boletim do Instituto da Pesca 31 9 20 Google Scholar

Çakirlar, C (ed) 2011. Archaeomalacology revisited. non-dietary use of molluscs in archaeological settings. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Archaeomalacology revisited. non-dietary use of molluscs in archaeological settings Google Scholar

Claassen, C 1991. Normative thinking and shell-bearing. In Archaeological Method and Theory. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press 3:249–298. Normative thinking and shell-bearing Archaeological Method and Theory 3 249 298 Google Scholar

Claassen, C 1998. Shells. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Shells Google Scholar

Claassen, C 2008. Shell symbolism in pre-Columbian North America. In Antczak, A & Cipriani, R (eds) Early human impact on megamolluscs. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports:37–43. Shell symbolism in pre-Columbian North America Early human impact on megamolluscs 37 43 Google Scholar

Claassen, C 2010. Feasting with shellfish in the southern Ohio Valley: Archaic sacred sites and rituals. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Feasting with shellfish in the southern Ohio Valley: Archaic sacred sites and rituals Google Scholar

Colonese, AC, Collins, M, Lucquin, A, Eustace, M, Hancock, Y, de Almeida Rocha Ponzoni, R & Craig, OE 2014. Long-term resilience of late Holocene coastal subsistence system in southeastern South America. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e93854. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093854. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

De Masi, M 2009. Aplicações de isótopos estáveis de 18/16O, 13/12C e 15/14N em estudos de sazonalidade, mobilidade e dieta de populações pré-históricas no sul do Brasil. Revista de Arqueologia 22(2):55–76. Aplicações de isótopos estáveis de 18/16O, 13/12C e 15/14N em estudos de sazonalidade, mobilidade e dieta de populações pré-históricas no sul do Brasil Revista de Arqueologia 22 55 76 Google Scholar

DeBlasis, P, Kneip, A, Scheel-Ybert, R, Giannini, P & Gaspar, M 2007. Sambaquis e paisagem: dinâmica natural e arqueologia regional no litoral sul do Brasil. Arqueologia Sudamericanca/Arqueologia Sul-americana 3(1):29–61. Sambaquis e paisagem: dinâmica natural e arqueologia regional no litoral sul do Brasil Arqueologia Sudamericanca/Arqueologia Sul-americana 3 29 61 Google Scholar

Figuti, L 1993. O homem pré-histórico, o molusco e o sambaqui: considerações sobre a subsistência dos povos sambaquianos. Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 3:67–80. O homem pré-histórico, o molusco e o sambaqui: considerações sobre a subsistência dos povos sambaquianos Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 3 67 80 Google Scholar

Figuti, L & Klokler, D 1996. Resultados preliminares dos vestígios zooarqueológicos do sambaqui espinheiros II (Joinville, SC). Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 6:169–187. Resultados preliminares dos vestígios zooarqueológicos do sambaqui espinheiros II (Joinville, SC) Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 6 169 187 Google Scholar

Fish, S, DeBlasis, P, Gaspar, M & Fish, P 2000. Eventos incrementais na construção de sambaquis, litoral sul do estado de Santa Catarina. Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 10:69–87. Eventos incrementais na construção de sambaquis, litoral sul do estado de Santa Catarina Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 10 69 87 Google Scholar

Garcia, C 1972. Estudo comparativo das fontes de alimentação de duas populações pré-históricas do litoral paulista, São Paulo, SP. Unpublished PhD thesis, Universidade de São Paulo. Google Scholar

Gaspar, M 2000. Sambaqui: arqueologia do litoral Brasileiro. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Jorge Zahar. Sambaqui: arqueologia do litoral Brasileiro Google Scholar

Gaspar, M, Klokler, D, Afonso, M, DeBlasis, P & Figuti, L 2009. Monumental shell mounds (sambaquis) from the southern Brazilian coast. Paper read at SAA 74th Annual Meeting at Atlanta. Monumental shell mounds (sambaquis) from the southern Brazilian coast Google Scholar

Gaspar, M, Klokler, D & Bianchini, G 2013. Arqueologia estratégica: abordagens para o estudo da totalidade e construção de sítios monticulares. Bol. Mus. Para. Emilio Goeldi 8(3):517–533. Arqueologia estratégica: abordagens para o estudo da totalidade e construção de sítios monticulares Bol. Mus. Para. Emilio Goeldi 8 517 533 Google Scholar

Gaspar, M, Klokler, D & DeBlasis, P 2011. Traditional fishing, mollusk gathering, and the shell mound builders of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Journal of Ethnobiology 31(2):188–121. Traditional fishing, mollusk gathering, and the shell mound builders of Santa Catarina, Brazil Journal of Ethnobiology 31 188 121 Google Scholar

Gaspar, M, Klokler, D & DeBlasis, P 2014. Were sambaqui people buried in the trash? Archaeology, physical anthropology, and the evolution of the interpretationof Brazilian shell mounds. In Roksandic, M, Souza, S, Eggers, S, Burcell, M & Klokler, D (eds) The cultural dynamics of shell middens and shell mounds: a worldwide perspective. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press:91–100. Were sambaqui people buried in the trash? Archaeology, physical anthropology, and the evolution of the interpretationof Brazilian shell mounds The cultural dynamics of shell middens and shell mounds: a worldwide perspective 91 100 Google Scholar

Guimarães, M 2003. Do lixo ao luxo: as premissas teórico-metodológicas e a noção de sambaqui. Boletim do Museu Nacional, Nova Série, Antropologia 63:1–23. Do lixo ao luxo: as premissas teórico-metodológicas e a noção de sambaqui Boletim do Museu Nacional, Nova Série, Antropologia 63 1 23 Google Scholar

Hamilakis, Y 1998. Eating the dead: mortuary feasting and the politics of memory in the Aegean Bronze Age societies. In Branigan, K (ed) Cemetery and society in the Aegean bronze age. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press:115–132. Eating the dead: mortuary feasting and the politics of memory in the Aegean Bronze Age societies Cemetery and society in the Aegean bronze age 115 132 Google Scholar

Hamilakis, Y 2008. Time, performance, and the production of a mnemonic record: from feasting to an archaeology of eating and drinking. In Hitchcock, LA, Laffineur, R, Crowley, J (eds) Dais: The Aegean feast. Liege: Belgium:3–20. Time, performance, and the production of a mnemonic record: from feasting to an archaeology of eating and drinking Dais: The Aegean feast 3 20 Google Scholar

Hayden, B 2001. Fabulous feasts. a prolegomenon to the importance of feasting. In Dietler, M & Hayden, B (eds) Feasts: archaeological and ethnographic perspectives on food, politics, and power. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press:185–214. Fabulous feasts. a prolegomenon to the importance of feasting Feasts: archaeological and ethnographic perspectives on food, politics, and power 185 214 Google Scholar

Hayden, B & Villeneuve, S 2011. A century of feasting studies. Annual Review of Anthropology 40:433–453. A century of feasting studies Annual Review of Anthropology 40 433 453 Google Scholar

Hill, E 2013. Archaeology and animal persons: toward a prehistory of human-animal relations. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 4:117–136. Archaeology and animal persons: toward a prehistory of human-animal relations Environment and Society: Advances in Research 4 117 136 Google Scholar

Klokler, D 2008. Food for body and soul: mortuary ritual in shell mounds (Laguna – Brazil). Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Arizona. Google Scholar

Klokler, D 2014. A ritually constructed shell mound: feasting at the Jabuticabeira II site. In Roksandic, M., Souza, S., Eggers, S, Burcell, M. & Klokler, D. (eds) The cultural dynamics of shell middens and shell mounds: a worldwide perspective. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press:151–162. A ritually constructed shell mound: feasting at the Jabuticabeira II site The cultural dynamics of shell middens and shell mounds: a worldwide perspective 151 162 Google Scholar

Klokler, D 2016a. Otólitos, para que te quero? Revista de Arqueologia 29(1):3–17. Otólitos, para que te quero? Revista de Arqueologia 29 3 17 Google Scholar

Klokler, D 2016b. Animal para toda obra: fauna ritual em sambaquis. Revista Habitus 14(1):21–34. Animal para toda obra: fauna ritual em sambaquis Revista Habitus 14 21 34 Google Scholar

Klokler, D 2017. Zooarchaeology of Brazilian shell mounds. In Albarella, U, Rizzetto, M, Russ, H, Vickers, V & Viner-Daniels, S (eds) The Oxford handbook of zooarchaeology. Oxford University Press:643–659. Zooarchaeology of Brazilian shell mounds The Oxford handbook of zooarchaeology 643 659 Google Scholar

Klokler, D, Gaspar, M & DeBlasis, P 2009. Cemitérios e/ou Palcos: Sambaquis e o Teatro da Morte. Paper read at the XV Reunião Científica da Sociedade de Arqueologia Brasileira, Belém. Cemitérios e/ou Palcos: Sambaquis e o Teatro da Morte Google Scholar

Klokler, D & Gaspar, M 2013. ‘Há uma estrutura funerária em meu sambaqui..., esse sambaqui é uma estrutura funerária!’. In Gaspar, M & Souza, S (eds) Abordagens em sambaquis. Erechin: Editora Habilis:109–126. ‘Há uma estrutura funerária em meu sambaqui..., esse sambaqui é uma estrutura funerária!’ Abordagens em sambaquis 109 126 Google Scholar

Kneip, A 2004. O povo da lagoa: uso do SIG para modelamento e simulação na área arqueológica do Camacho. Unpublished PhD thesis. Universidade de São Paulo. Google Scholar

Lightfoot, KG, Luby, EM 2012. Mound building by California hunter-gatherers. In Pauketat, TR (ed), The Oxford handbook of North American archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press:212–223. Mound building by California hunter-gatherers The Oxford handbook of North American archaeology 212 223 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lima, T 1999–2000. Em busca dos frutos do mar: os pescadores-coletores do litoral centro-sul do Brasil. Revista USP 44:270–327. Em busca dos frutos do mar: os pescadores-coletores do litoral centro-sul do Brasil Revista USP 44 270 327 Google Scholar

Lima, T, Macario, KD, Anjos, RM, Gomes, PRS, Coimbra, MM & Elmore, D 2004. The earliest shellmounds of the central-south Brazilian coast. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Atoms 223–224: 691–694. The earliest shellmounds of the central-south Brazilian coast Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Atoms 691 694 Google Scholar

McNiven, IJ 2013. Between the living and the dead: relational ontologies and the ritual dimensions of dugong hunting across Torres Strait. In Watts, C (ed) Relational archaeologies: humans, animals, things. New York: Routledge:97–116. Between the living and the dead: relational ontologies and the ritual dimensions of dugong hunting across Torres Strait Relational archaeologies: humans, animals, things 97 116 Google Scholar

Morris, J 2011. Animal ‘ritual’ killing: from remains to meanings. In Pluskowski, A (ed) The ritual killing and burials of animals: European perspectives. Oxford: Oxbow:8–21. Animal ‘ritual’ killing: from remains to meanings The ritual killing and burials of animals: European perspectives 8 21 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Oyuela-Caycedo, A & Rodríguez, C 1995. La formación de concheros en la Costa Norte de Sur América. Revista de Antropología y Arqueología 11:73–123. La formación de concheros en la Costa Norte de Sur América Revista de Antropología y Arqueología 11 73 123 Google Scholar

Perodie, J 2001. Feasting for prosperity: a study of southern northwest coast feasting. In Dietler, M & Hayden, B (eds) Feasts: archaeological and ethnographic perspectives on food, politics, and power. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press:185–214. Feasting for prosperity: a study of southern northwest coast feasting Feasts: archaeological and ethnographic perspectives on food, politics, and power 185 214 Google Scholar

Prous, A 1991. Arqueologia Brasileira. Brasília: Editora UNB. Arqueologia Brasileira Google Scholar

Russell, N 2011. Social zooarchaeology. humans and animals in prehistory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Social zooarchaeology. humans and animals in prehistory Google Scholar

Scheel-Ybert, R 1999. Paleoambiente e paleoetnologia de populações sambaquieiras do sudeste do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 9:43–59. Paleoambiente e paleoetnologia de populações sambaquieiras do sudeste do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia 9 43 59 Google Scholar

Tiburtius, G 1960. Schmuckgegenstände aus den Muschelbergen von Paraná und Santa Catarina, Südbrasilien. Pesquisas, Antropologia 6:34–64. Schmuckgegenstände aus den Muschelbergen von Paraná und Santa Catarina, Südbrasilien Pesquisas 6 34 64 Google Scholar

Villagran, X, Klokler, D, Nishida, P, Gaspar, M, DeBlasis, P 2010. Lecturas estratigráficas: Arquitectura funerária y depositación de resíduos en el sambaquí Jabuticabeira II. Latin American Antiquity 21(2):195–227. Lecturas estratigráficas: Arquitectura funerária y depositación de resíduos en el sambaquí Jabuticabeira II Latin American Antiquity 21 195 227 Google Scholar

Waselkov, GA 1987. Shellfish gathering and shell-midden archaeology. Advances in archaeological method and theory. New York: Academic Press:93–209. Shellfish gathering and shell-midden archaeology Advances in archaeological method and theory 93 209 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Klokler, Daniela