ROCHA, Bruna (2017). Ipi Ocemumuge: A Regional Archaeology of the Upper Tapajós River

The aim of this thesis is to offer an initial construction of the long term past of the Upper Tapajós River, considering processes of long-term continuities as well as ruptures. I will attempt to “bridge the gap” between pre-Columbian and post-conquest occupations in the region through the study of archaeology, historical linguistics, ethnohistory, and social anthropology. The least known of these is the region’s archaeology, which constitutes the main focus of this study. The bulk of the archaeological data was generated through the analysis of ceramic complexes from two archaeological sites called Terra Preta do Mangabal (TPM) and Sawre Muybu (SM), dating initially to approximately the late seventh and the early ninth centuries AD respectively. The remains were found stratified in expanses of anthropogenic soils known as Amazonian Dark Earths (ADEs). The study of these artefacts permitted not only comparisons on a wider scale but also allowed me to address questions related to ancient exchange networks and potential links to the distribution of Carib and Tupian language families. Both sites belong to territories traditionally occupied by the Munduruku Indians (in the case of SM) and the Beiradeiros of Montanha e Mangabal (in regard to TPM). The framework of Historical Ecology has provided a key vantage point from which to observe the ways in which the current inhabitants of the studied landscape engage with environments transformed by past human actions. The research has been carried out in a context of conflict and resistance by these forest peoples against planned development projects that could cause primary, irreversible alterations to the landscape in which they have lived for generations and in which their collective memory is inscribed. The role of scientists and archaeologists involved in environmental assessment studies undertaken in the context of human rights violations is questioned.