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In the footsteps of past amerindian societies from French Guiana

A field mission of archeological digs and a collect of plants was organized in the Nouragues research station at Parare camp for 15 days

LongTIme LONG Term Impact of ancient aMErindian settlements on guianese forests

A growing body of archaeological and pedological evidence, accumulated since the 1990s, suggests that Amazonian rainforests might have been much more densely occupied and intensely modified by Amerindian societies before the first contact than previously thought. These discoveries, by challenging the very existence of “pristine” tropical rainforests, have forced ecologists to consider pre-industrial human activities as one of the potential drivers influencing biodiversity of Amazonian rainforests.

The LongTIme project will build on the skills of several complementary CEBA and non‐CEBA teams, including Amerindian experts, to evaluate the influence of past Amerindian societies on present day soils and forest structure, composition and diversity across various temporal and spatial scales.
LongTIme will contribute to a better understanding of biodiversity patterns in French Guianese rainforests and thus provide key elements for environmental policy makers and for the modeling of forest changes in response to future land use and climate changes.

This historical ecological project is multidisciplinary. Researchers used to work in close concert with Amerindian experts from French Guaina ((Teko, Wayãnas, Wayãmpis).
This field mission was funded LabEx CEBA and Agency for Cultural Affairs. It gathered archeologists and arborists climbers for 15 days on the top of a crowned mountain. Two unaltered pre-Columbian ceramics has been founded (Fig. 4). The climbers collected a panel of plants to complete the missing sample in the last inventory. Overall, it represents 4 hectares of inventories which have completed. The 3 last hectares are being collected at the present time (November 2018).

Mission team:
An ethnobotanist and coordinator: Guillaume Odonne (LEEISA)
Archeologists: Mickael Mestre and Martijn Van den Bel (INRAP), Matthieu Hildebrand (SRA), Michelle Hamblin (SRA), Nathalie Cazelles (Association Aïmara)
A geoarchaeologist: Jeanne Brancier (LEEISA),
A geophysician: François Levêque (LIENSs)
Arborists climbers: Kike Castro Rovira, Valentin  et Valentine Alt (Synusia Climbers)
A movie director: Cédric Michel

To go further about the crowned moutain:

Mission field photo coverage:

Archaeological survey and geophysical measures on the top of the ditch site close to Saut Pararé

Fig. 1. Archaeological survey and geophysical measures on the top of the ditch site close to Saut Pararé. © G. Odonne

Valentine Alt, de Synusia climbers, pour la collecte des derniers échantillons d'herbiers afin de compléter l'identification des arbres sur les sites de LongTIme.

Fig. 2. Valentine Alt from Synusia climbers, ready to collect the last herbarium vouchers to complete tree identifications on LongTIme sites. © G. Odonne

Kike Castro Rovira, de Synusia climbers, en plein échantillonnage d'Oenocarpus bataua pour les études de génétique des populations (PalmOmix) associées à LongTIme.

Fig. 3. Kike Castro Rovira from Synusia climbers, while sampling Oenocarpus bataua for population genetics study (PalmOmix) associated to LongTIme. © G. Odonne

Deux céramiques précolombiennes dans leur position de découverte au centre du sondage archéologique.

Fig. 4. Two pre-Colombian ceramics as they were discovered in the middle of the pit. © G. Odonne