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Two 6000-year-old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site


Two 6,000-year old human skeletons with perfectly preserved teeth have been found on a Brazilian construction site.

Two 6000-year old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site
Scientists say the skeletons may belong to people from one of the hundreds of Jiquabu tribes that inhabited Brazil
as long as 10,000 years ago up until the colonial period [Credit: Raquel Schwengber/Divulgação]
The remains were found at a site on the BR-470 road in the Ilhota municipality in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. The skeletons' skulls and leg bones appear to be well-preserved with the full set of teeth still clearly visible. It is believed the site would have been an island in a lagoon when the ancient humans were alive.


Scientists say the skeletons may belong to people from one of the hundreds of Jiquabu tribes that inhabited Brazil as long as 10,000 years ago up until the colonial period. The skeletons, which were found during works to extend the road in May, were sent to the Beta Analytics laboratory in Florida which found they were 5,880 years old.

Two 6000-year old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site
Archaeologist Valdir Luiz Schwengber from the University of Southern Santa Catarina, who is coordinating
 the find, said the skeletons were found around 60 centimetres under the surface
[Credit: Raquel Schwengber/Divulgação]
Archaeologist Valdir Luiz Schwengber from the University of Southern Santa Catarina, who is coordinating the find, said the skeletons were found around 60 centimetres (23 inches) under the surface. He added that the island would have been isolated and would have had no drinking water.

Experts believe the site was probably used for ceremonies and funeral rituals.

Two 6000-year old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site
The skeletons were sent to the Beta Analytics laboratory in Florida which found they were 5,880 years old
[Credit: Raquel Schwengber/Divulgação]
'Data collected at the site indicates they had a diet of fish, such as catfish, snapper, sea bass and corvina', said Dr Schwengber. 'The small size of the fish indicates that the food supplies were the juvenile fish present in shallow waters.'


Sources suggest when Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil it was inhabited by hundreds of Jiquabu tribes, the earliest of which had been around 10,000 years ago in the highlands of Minas Gerais. These inhabitants were called 'Indians' by the Portugese.

Two 6000-year old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site
Experts believe the site was probably used for ceremonies and funeral rituals[Credit: Raquel Schwengber/Divulgação]
Experts believe that these early tribes were part of a wave of migrant hunters who came into the Americas from Asia, perhaps via the Bering Strait. These cultures never developed written records or permanent agriculture so very little is known about them. At the time of European discovery, it is believed Brazil had as many as 2,000 tribes who were semi-nomadic.

The skeletons are now in a laboratory owned by a company called Espaco Arqueologia, located in the municipality of Tubarao, in the state of Santa Catarina, where they are undergoing further analysis. A multidisciplinary team of researchers from areas such as biology, history and archaeology are taking part in the work.

Two 6000-year old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site
Data collected at the site indicates they had a diet of fish, such as catfish, snapper, sea bass and corvina[Credit: Raquel Schwengber/Divulgação]
'This study allows us to understand the dynamics of occupation of the territory of the coast of modern-day Santa Catarina', said Dr Schwengber.

The area where the skeletons were found has been fenced off and is reportedly set to become an educational space.


Two 6000-year old human skeletons found under Brazilian construction site
The skeletons were found during works to extend the road in May[Credit: Raquel Schwengber/Divulgação]
Research from earlier this year revealed that parts of the Amazon previously thought to have been uninhabited were home to thriving populations of up to a million people from as early as 1250 AD.

Archaeologists uncovered evidence there were up to 1,500 fortified villages in the rainforest away from major rivers - two-thirds of which are yet to be discovered. These thriving populations were then decimated by the arrival of European settlers and their diseases.

Author: Phoebe Weston | Source:the Daily Mail [September 30, 2018]

TANN

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1 comment :

  1. This is an outstanding discovery. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete


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