Rafael Suarez

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Universidad de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay

Grant number

Gr. 10581

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Suarez, Rafael (Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay) "Crop platforms and hydraulic technology: the landscape domestication during the late Holocene in eastern Uruguay"

This project seeks to investigate a complex of mound structures and channels recognized that configures a complex anthropized landscape based on the planning and use of hydraulic technology to irrigate crop platforms made by prehistoric moundbuilders during the last 2000 years. The project focuses on four fundamental research lines: 1. constructive technology system (mounds and channels), 2. archaeobotanical characterization, 3. chronological determination, and 4. mounds spatial organization. We discovered an exceptional archaeological site with two mound assemblages that include 58 structures in an area of 5 hectares. Planned research includes a series of extensive excavations in the mounds (elongated platforms and channels) that will help to define both the cultivated species and characterize the irrigation channels. Methodologically, an interdisciplinary approach with focus in geoarchaeological and multi proxy paleoecological data (phytoliths, pollen, stable carbon isotope, charcoal analyses, etc.) are integrated to systematize and discuss different aspects of the complexity of mound-building societies in Southeast of South America. The planned research will seek to generate data that help to understand the process of human domestication of the landscape and the horticulture practices in a region considered marginal with scarce social, economic and cultural complexity.