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Stunning New Archaeological Findings Rewrite Ancient Brazilian History

Grim Reaper 6

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The theory that one ethnic group replaced the other arose partly because sites like Galheta IV mark the end of sambaqui building. The potsherds found in the most recent layers of mounds on these sites recall the pottery of the ancestors of South Jê Indigenous groups Kaingang and Laklãnõ-Xokleng. This is another reason for the long-held belief, now refuted, that the sambaqui builders who lived on the coast were replaced by people from the Santa Catarina uplands.

“We don’t know why sambaqui building stopped. Possible explanations include contact with other cultures and environmental factors such as changing sea levels and salinity, which may have led to a fall in the supply of shellfish and hence of the raw material for shell mounds,” says Jéssica Mendes Cardoso, first author of the article.


Late shellmound occupation in southern Brazil: A multi-proxy study of the Galheta IV archaeological site: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0300684

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