Friday, September 14, 2007

Taperinha clamshells

"A clamshell is just a clamshell to most of us, but the mounds of them at Taperinha, a ranch site located on Igarapé de Maicá, just east of Santarém, reveals much more about the significance of this shy shellfish. The first time I visited Taperinha, I did not realize that this had been an important archaeological site for establishing dates and lifestyles of the first human inhabitants of this region. This was January of 1991, and my stop was an impromptu one to satisfy the curiosity of my clients who were infatuated by the forest, the old colonial house and the beauty of the Amazon floodplain." "Excavations of the clam middens (scientific term for garbage pile), which are located a hundred meters back of the main house, by archeologist Anna Roosevelt and her colleagues at the Emilio Goeldi Museum, indicate that Native Americans were living in that area more than 6,000 years ago."Excerpts from my book, Santarém - Riverboat Town, A Gringo's Own Account of Tourism on the Brazilian Amazon and Tapajós Rivers. Image of Taperinha clamshells taken at Bosque Santa Lúcia on September 12, 2007

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