Sampling bone artefacts in Babitonga Bay


In early November 2022 members of our team travelled to Brazil to analyse and sample hundreds of pre-European bone artefacts at the Museu Arqueológico de Sambaqui de Joinville (MASJ), in Santa Catarina (Brazil). The artefacts are part of the rich archaeological collection at MASJ and were recovered from several archaeological sites in Babitonga Bay dating between 5000 and 1000 cal BP. Most of the analysed artefacts were likely produced from sea mammal bones, but due to their extensive transformation during the artefact production their taxonomic identifications have proven challenging. Krista McGrath and Tatiane Andaluzia, along with other members of the team, are combining molecular analysis (collagen peptide mass fingerprinting) and zooarchaeological studies to enhance the identifications, while assessing the symbolic and functional values of distinct species. Results will be coming soon.