The forest is home: the importance of archaeobotanical and archaeological evidence for human occupations of the Amazon during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition

Myrtle Pearl Shock Claide de Paula Moraes About the authors


Based on archaeological and archaeobotanical data from the leistocene/Holocene transition and human-environment relationships (highlighting axes of heterogeneity), this article discusses the role ancient human occupations played in the formation of what we know as the Amazon Forest. Occupation of strategic locations on the landscape, permanent alterations of environmental composition, and the management of a variety of plants, especially palms, lead to a recognition that archaeologists may need to reconsider how they apply concepts of mobility and cultural incipience to ancient human groups. We seek to demonstrate that returning to promoted places is a strategy of occupation that dates to the earliest settlement by constructing a dialog between ecological, botanical, biogeographical, ethnographical, and archaeological information. Highlighting plants important indicators, we present a proposal for a concept of inclusion to explore the planned uses of diversified resources and resulting modifications within/of the environment, that transformed it into persistent places.

Human occupation; Archaeobotany; Pleistocene/Holocene; Amazon

MCTI/Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi Coordenação de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação, Av. Perimetral. 1901 - Terra Firme, 66077-830 - Belém - PA, Tel.: (55 91) 3075-6186 - Belém - PA - Brazil