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SETTLEMENT PATTERNS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES IN HUMAN OCCUPATION ON THE LEFT BANK OF THE PARANÁ RIVER (PARANÁ STATE, BRAZIL) Francisco S. NOELLI Lab. de Arqueologia, Etnologia e Etno-História Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Brasil) Introduction During the last seven or eight thousand years the banks of the high Paraná River and its affluents and biota drew various human communities. While numberless archaeological sites exist in this extensive basin, historical sources abound that register not merely the presence of many indigenous peoples, but also a continuum of European occupation (CNSA; Noelli, in press 2 ). However, the analyses of these historical processes and their social, cultural and economical aspects are still in a fledging stage. Information on the subject is in fact scanty and limited. This analysis becomes more interesting once during time interval occupation area was under expressive climatic changes (Stevaux, 2000). Natural Sciences specialists have for some time now been devoting their studies to the ecosystems occupied and exploited by these populations. In fact, research has been going on for many decades in Argentina and in Paraguay and during the last forty years in Brazil too. The amount of knowledge produced by geologists, biologists, palinologists, physicists and chemists is indispensable for the investigation of adaptation strategies and ways of living used by peoples who lived in the region. The first aim of current research is to show systematically a cross-section of the archaeological evidence along the left bank of the Paraná River in the state of Paraná, Brazil. Secondly, since the last human occupation prior to the European settlements was made by the Guarani speakers, a discussion will ensue on the process of environmental changes during the last 2000 years, or rather, previous to the period thought of by botanists as undergoing man-impacted modifications. Analysis of the area Archaeological research was developed within an area extending some 400km in length by 15km in breadth (average of 5km) along the Paraná River, between the mouth of the Iguaçu River and that of the Paranapanema River. The area has been divided into three sectors: 1) from the mouth of the Iguaçu River to that of the Piquiri River; 2) from the mouth of the Piquiri River to that of the Ivaí River (Fig. 1) from the mouth of the Ivaí River to that of the Paranapanema River (Fig. 1). Figure 1 Landscape consists of low hills ranging between 250 to 450 m in altitude, interrupted in certain places by slopes of the Paraná highlands, especially the Iguaçu Falls and the now submerged Sete Quedas canyon. The surface of the left bank of the Paraná River, proportionately divided into two parts, is composed of basalt from the Paraná tableau geological formation (Foz do Iguaçu - Guaíra) and of sandstone from the Caiuá geological formation (Guaíra - mouth of the Paranapanema). Podzolic soils predominate on the river banks, whereas oxysols and quartz sand form the most common sediments of the topsoil (Stevaux; Souza Filho, 1997). The Paraná is a floodplain river, comprising some 300 islands intersected by numerous channels of various sizes. These are bordered by floodplains and lakes of different sizes (Stevaux, 1994; Orfeo; Stevaux, 2002). Especially in the sector under analysis, has hundreds of affluents and the most important rivers, Ivinheima, Ivaí, Amambaí and Piquiri (Maack, 1981), form an intricate drain network that turned up to be a positive factor since it has strongly attracted the settlement of many human communities. It is, in fact, extremely rare not to find some sort of source of water more than 1000m from any point. Most sites lay less than 200m distance from water sources. Average temperature of the region is about 21.5 C and average annual rainfall reaches 1250mm. According to Köppen system, climate is classified as Cfa, or subtropical, humid, mesothermic, with hot summers. Lowest minimum temperature during the last hundred years reached -5.3 C, in August 1963, in the town of Guaíra (Maack, 1981). Global climatic fluctuations during the last millennium caused many oscillations in southern South America, with average temperature lowering from 3 to 4 C during some periods (Cioccale, 1999). Climate oscillations left their mark during the Quaternary and their effect on the populations of these areas has still to be estimated. The region's forest formations are part of the seasonal semideciduous forest complex (Campos; Souza, 1997). Their ecology is conditioned by a dual climatic seasonality: tropical with intense summer rainfalls and winter droughts. The left bank of the Paraná River belongs to the alluvial seasonal semideciduous forest (Eletrosul, 1986), which covers the continuous and discontinuous alluvial floodplains on many islands of the Paraná River and borders some rivers of the left bank. Cecropia pachystachya (embaúba), Inga sp (ingá), Cedrela lilloi, Ficus sp (Fig. 2) are the most common species found in highly hydromorphic soils. They belong to forest groupings found in soil frequently covered by water. Since highly selective tree species develop in this environment, less dense forests are the result, with very few arboreal species. Figure 2 Non-forest areas in the region are covered with different kinds of native vegetation, which, in their turn, are highly influenced by rivers cutting along the flood plains and around alluvial depressions, such as bogs, lakes and lagoons (IBGE, 1992). Eichhornia crassipes, Salvinia auriculata, Pistia stratioides, Azzola sp. and Syrpus sp. flow freely in unstable terrain, covered with a constantly changing vegetation (Eletrosul, 1986), together with other root vegetation, such as Hydrocotile umbellata, Eichhornia stratioides, Nymphea sp., Polygonum acuminatum, and P. stelligerum. In the wet marshy banks, creeks and lakes, with much sedimentation, a swampy type of vegetation may be found. It includes Panicum sp., Paspalum repens, Sagittaria montevidensis, Pontederia cordata, Ludwigia sp. Species of the families Poaceae and Polygonaceae may be found on the banks of the flood plain lakes and secondary channels of the high Paraná River. Nevertheless, in certain stretches of the main river channel beach-like sandbanks, completely lacking all kind of vegetation, are extant. Flood pulses occur in the summer months, causing a rise in water level, flooding of the margins and submerging of water vegetation. The influence of riparian vegetation on the biota may vary considerably at each phase of the hydrological pulse that controls sedimentation. In the low water phases the riparian vegetation works as a filter between the two (land and water) ecosystems. Species, such as Inga spp., Paullinia spp., Ficus spp., Cayaponia podantha and Celtis iguanaea, the natural diet of herbivorous fish and other animals, are concentrated in this landwater ecotone. The river-floodplain system, with its pulse regimen of high waters and extensive area flooding, vegetation dispersion, paleoclimatic history and dynamics of the hydrographic system are factors that contribute towards the vegetation complex. The area presents itself with different stances: its significant surface diversity, species proper to the seasonal semideciduous forests, floodplains and savannah, besides being specially marked by transitional ecotones. Archaeology The stretches Iguaçu-Piquiri mouths and Ivaí-Paranapanema mouths have already been extensively researched, although the Piquiri-Ivaí mouths have only recently been the object of archaeological investigation. Predominant archaeological methodology consists of a randomised approach and low intense prospective with surface survey of sites. A full-coverage survey by which the entire area would be reconnoitred in detail not merely at the present surface but at a depth of 140cm is still lacking. This is the maximum archaeological depth in which things have been found up till now. The stretch between the Iguaçu and Piquiri mouths has been the object of archaeological research since Investigations were concentrated on certain spots and object collection undertaken. Whereas Ambrosetti (1895) investigated the former in 1892, the latter, on the left margin of the Piquiri, and the site of an old short-lived Spanish pueblo ( ), was analysed by Watson (1947). Ciudad Real was researched by Chmyz (1976) who made excavations and drew the town map in 1958, 1963 and By the end of 1968 and the beginning of 1969 Chmyz (1971) undertook the first systematic surveys within a broad project of archaeological investigation throughout Brazil (Brochado et al., 1970). During the impounding of the Itaipu Reservoir and the installation of the Dam, the Brazilian margin of the Iguaçu-Piquiri mouths stretch was the site of intense archaeological surveys (Chmyz, , 1992). Some 266 sites were identified, including those found in the 60s and some after In the last section of this stretch, between the town of Guaíra and the mouth of the Piquiri River and in the islands nearby, the author of this paper found 1 other site in However, no digging or excavation ensued (Noelli & Silva, 2002). The right bank of the same stretch, on the Paraguayan side, is still unexplored land. The stretch of land in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul was partially investigated by Chmyz (1983:26-27), by the archaeological teams of the Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), of the Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) and the Universidade Estadual do Mato Grosso do Sul (UEMS). Ten sites have been registered and explored. The widest survey areas reached approximately 15km distance from the Paraná margin. The Piquiri-Ivaí mouth stretch has been scantily explored, with a 19 archaeological site on the Paraná margin (Noelli, Novak and Doeswijk, in press). The Mato Grosso do Sul side received slight attention and 5 sites have been found (Chmyz, 1974; Kashimoto, 1997). On the other hand, the Ivaí-Paranapanema stretch has been visited since the end of the 1950s. In 1959 Blasi (1961) found an archaeological site in the municipality of Querência do Norte and Chmyz discovered 6 sites in Diamante do Norte from the mid-1966 to 1970 (Chmyz, 1974). Between 1982 and 1991 Chmyz (1984, 1992) found 2 more sites in the same municipality. In 2000 the UEM team started a regional survey of the area within the context of the scientific activities developed for the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Area of the Northwestern Paraná (APA). A systematic surface survey was undertaken between the Rosana Dam (on the Paranapanema River) and the mouth of the Ivaí River. Twenty-nine new archaeological sites were discovered (Noelli et al., 2003). APA survey area comprised 145km in length by 4km distance from the rivers Paraná and Paranapanema. APA is directly related with investigations made by Kashimoto and Martins (Kashimoto, 1997; Kashimoto; Martins, 2004; Martins, Kashimoto and Tatumi, 1999, 2002), and undoubtedly both areas may be considered a single archaeological region due to possible social and political networks among its occupants, especially the Guarani. The area has also direct links with the lower and middle Paranapanema River (Chmyz, 1977, 1984, 1992; Kunzli, 1987; Faccio, 1998; Morais, 2000). On the right margin of the Paraná River, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, 11 more archaeological sites were discovered on the same stretch by Chmyz (1974), by the UEM team and by Kashimoto (1997; Kashimoto; Martins, 2004). The islands have been only scantily investigated. Actually they are potentially very important from the subsistence and defensive strategic aspect. Sixteenth century documents register that the Guarani had intensive agriculture in the floodable islands of the mouth of the River Plata and synchronised planting and harvesting according to the rise and fall of the water level. The 323 archaeological sites known along the 400 km of Paraná State an area only partially investigated suggest the tip of an iceberg. If one takes into account the density of sites already discovered, the probability of others being discovered is certainly very high. Populations The region's population has been classified according to the material evidence in the archaeological site. Generically divided into hunter-gatherers and agricultural populations, the former comprises two large technological horizons which Brazilian archaeology calls Umbu and Humaitá traditions, found in south Brazil, in certain areas of the state of São Paulo and in the Misiones region, Argentina (Kern, 1981; Schmitz, 1987; Dias, 1994; Hoeltz, 1997; Prous, 1992; Morais, 2000; Noelli, 2000). Chmyz (1982; 1984) suggested local and regional subsets called Vinitu (Umbu), Pirajuí and Inajá phases, besides two others, Tatuí and Ipacaraí, without any link with the former. Archaeological registers show that the sites were small open-air settlements whose day-to-day affairs failed to contribute towards the production and disposing of organic material that would change significantly the soil's chemistry. They seem to have been neither agricultural people, nor forest managers, nor pottery producers. Their most common trace is the stone artefact, mainly arrowheads, in the Umbu tradition. This latter item is absent in the Humaitá tradition, which is characterised by the manufacture of large bifacial artefacts (various authors, such as Prous, 1992; Dias, 1994; Hoeltz, 1997, have discussed such division). According to dating by Chmyz (1983; 1993; Chmyz; Chmyz, 1986), their presence near the Paraná River was prior to 8,000 BP (all C 14 dating in Tables 1 and 2 below were made by the Smithsonian Institute). Chmyz identified certain sites below the 7,000 BP level, which makes them even older. Other sites in the South and Southeast Brazil, belonging to the same tradition, have been dated 12,000 BP (Schmitz, 1987; Prous, 1992; Noelli, 2000). No demographic estimates exist and there are no studies on the regional related systems between the Umbu and Humaitá sites. Even their feeding behaviour is still unknown. Table 1. Dating of hunter-gatherer (pre-ceramic) sites in Paraná State Municipality Tradition/ Phase Site Base of archaeological layer (m) Dates BP Laboratory Foz do Iguaçu Vinitu PR FI 43 Foz do Iguaçu Humaitá PR FI 21 Diamante do Norte Itaguajé PR NL 08 Guaíra Tatuí PR TO 49 Foz do Iguaçu Humaitá PR FI 21 Foz do Iguaçu Humaitá PR FI 21 Foz do Iguaçu Humaitá PR FI 21 Foz do Iguaçu Humaitá PR FI 21 Itaguajé Itaguajé PR AP ±150 Sl ±80 Sl ±80 Sl ±75 Sl ±60 Sl ±70 Sl ±105 Sl ±75 Sl ±135 Sl 6498 Ceramist populations have left many archaeological sites and may furnish us much historical information, since they are still represented by populations who currently speak the Guarani, Kaingang and Xokleng languages. In fact, they form two great cultural stocks, Tupi (Guarani) and Jê (Kaingang and Xokleng). The former hailed from the middle Amazon and the latter from central Brazil (Brochado, 1984; Urban, 1992; Noelli, 1998a, 1999). In successive colonisation processes they occupied southern Brazil before 2,200 BP (Table 2). Table 2. Dating of Guarani sites Municipality Site Base of archaeological layer (m) Dates BP Sample São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 75* Sl 5028 Santa Helena PR Fl ± 60* São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 70* São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 60* São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 60* Guairá PR FO ± 40 São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 75 Foz do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 55 São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 60 Sl 5021 Sl 5019 Sl 5033 Sl 5016 Sl 5039 Sl 5027 Sl 5020 Sl 5029 Santa Terezina do Itaipu PR Fl ± 200 Sl 5047 Santa Helena PR Fl ± 55* Diamante do Norte PR NL ± 55 Guaíra PR FO ± 60 São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 75 São Miguel do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 60 Santa Helena PR Fl ± 60 Foz do Iguaçu PR Fl ± 80* Sl 5024 Sl 6400 Sl 5040 Sl 5032 Sl 5034 Sl 5023 Sl 5015 (Dates with an asterisk were not accepted by researcher who collected them (Chmyz, 1983). Datings by Martins, Kashimoto and Tatumi (1999, 2002) at the Primavera dam area and other dates for south Brazil indicate that dates by Chmyz are acceptable.) Guarani settlements consisted of groups of communal houses that sheltered, at any one time, hundreds of persons each. Historical data refer to some 2,500 inhabitants. Jê populations, on the other hand, built their villages in the open air, while in the Foz do Iguaçu area pit houses have also been discovered. The main identifying element of these populations is pottery whose strict formal pattern, widely distributed throughout the southern part of the Paraná basin, characterises sharply the technological styles of their artisans. Pit houses are highly indicative of Jê populations. Further, layers of Archaeological Black Earth (ABE) in the midst of podzolic earth indicate a long permanence of the Guarani and a great processing activity in vegetal organic matter within their villages. Forest-clearing by fire plus agriculture practised by these populations actually caused environmental changes. However, they managed to reproduce their agricultural and forest system for over 1,700 years on the margins of the Paraná River and its affluents. Amazon peoples have used a similar system (Noelli, 1993, 1996; Balée, 1994; 2000). Since no ABE registers for Jê people are extant, its absence requires a different type of standard to evaluate their processing and disposing of organic matter. At the time being, due to lack of data, it may be stated that settlements may have been occupied for a very short span of time. The dissemination of tropical plant species, originally from other regions, by Jê and Guarani populations is another aspect that should be taken into account. In fact, they distributed a sort of plant package throughout the regions they colonised. If one takes into account that the natives originated from the Amazon and that they transported their plants in just the same way as they did their cultural material, one may surely say they disseminated a set of more or less defined vegetal species throughout large extensive territories, lying mainly in southern Brazil. Archaeological sites in the stretch Foz do Iguaçu-Paranapanema mouth Choosing settlement sites It must be emphasised that this is the first analysis of settlement patterns of the populations that occupied the areas close to the Paraná River, on the left bank of the stretch between the mouths of the Rivers Iguaçu and Paranapanema. Data that define pattern of settlement are (1) topographic compartmentalisation; (2) distance from the Paraná River; (3) altitude of the site with reference to the level of the Paraná River; (4) altitude of site with reference to sea level; (5) distance from the nearest water source; (6) colour of the archaeological soil; (7) base of the archaeological layer. Topographic compartmentalisation Topographic compartmentalisation is the localisation of the site within the land relief and may be divided into (1) top; (2) slope; (3) terrace; (4) top/slope; (5) slope/terrace; (6) island (Table 3). Analysis of topographic compartmentalisation showed that slopes are the commonest places for the establishment of sites with a 65.63%. Top and the transition interval top/slope came next with 15.78%. Terrace and transition interval terrace/slope were less relevant, with a mere 10.21%. Perhaps due to lack of research sites on the islands are scarce. Predominance of slope occupations reveals that there was a deep concern about drainage in the settlements and it seems that it was a deliberate decision to keep the huts and other structures away from humidity and marshy places. No data are available on the inclination angle of such topographic compartmentalisation and inference is greatly impaired. Table 3. Topographic compartmentalisation Topographic compartmentalisation General % Vinitu Humaitá Ipacaraí Icaraíma Tatuí
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