The expansion of Araucaria forest in the southern Brazilian highlands during the last 4000 years and its implications for the development of the Taquara/Itararé Tradition
University of Exeter (Iriarte); University of Göttingen (Hermann)
An examination of the late Holocene environmental and cultural sequences of the southern Brazilian highlands indicates that the colonisation of this region by the Taquara/Itararé people is associated with the expansion of Araucaria forest resulting from the onset of wetter climatic conditions in the region, which started between around 1410 and 900 cal. yr BP. The more intense and permanent human occupation of this region is associated with the advance of Araucaria forest, which provided Taquara/Itararé groups with a newly abundant and reliable resource: Araucaria seeds. In addition, we review the evidence for landscape transformation associated with the beginning of food-production in the region. Charcoal records show that local populations may have practiced slash-and-burn agriculture at lower elevations since the beginning of the late Holocene around 4320 cal. yr BP, and continued this practice during the second part of the late Holocene.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Copyright © Maney Publishing 2007.
Environmental Archaeology, 12 (2), October 2007, pp.115-127