Use of Pristis spp. (Elasmobranchii: Pristidae) by Hunter-Gatherers on the Coast of São Paulo, Brazil

Manoel M. B. Gonzalez
2005 Neotropical Ichthyology  
Artifacts made from rays (rostral teeth and spine) are very common in shell mounds on the coast of São Paulo, Brazil. The presence of the genus Pristis among the studied species of elasmobranch fishes in this shell mounds reinforces the hypothesis these animals occurred in southeastern Brazil, and were used by hunter-gatherers. I analyzed twelve rostral teeth of the genus Pristis from shell mounds. The teeth have artificial marks left from making arrows and harpoons. The basic function of the
more » ... eth found in these shell mounds was the production of tools and ornaments. From the analyzed teeth, ten (83%) were associated to the faunal remain and two (17%) were associated with burials, and they can be considered as ceremonial or votive elements. There had been no new records of occurrence of the genus Pristis on the coast of São Paulo State in Brazil, and there are a few studies on the use of their products in many ancient and contemporary human communities. This paper provide data about the distribution of rays of this genus in archaeological sites and the use of this resource by hunter-gatherers on the coast of São Paulo.
doi:10.1590/s1679-62252005000300010 fatcat:mxjcfs3p6fhydlf5e3fbtbjz3u