Two 6,000-year-old human skeletons have been found in a Brazilian construction site

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Two 6,000-year old human skeletons with perfectly preserved teeth have been found on a Brazilian construction site.

The remains were found at a site on the BR-470 road in the Ilhota municipality in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

The skeletons’ skulls and leg bones appear to be well-preserved with the full set of teeth still clearly visible. 

It is believed the site would have been an island in a lagoon when the ancient humans were alive.

Scientists say the skeletons may belong to people from one of the hundreds of Jiquabu tribes that inhabited Brazil as long as 10,000 years ago up until the colonial period.

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Scientists say the skeletons may belong to people from one of the hundreds of Jiquabu tribes that inhabited Brazil as long as 10,000 years ago up until the colonial period. Pictured are their perfectly preserved teeth

Scientists say the skeletons may belong to people from one of the hundreds of Jiquabu tribes that inhabited Brazil as long as 10,000 years ago up until the colonial period. Pictured are their perfectly preserved teeth

The skeletons, which were found during works to extend the road in May, were sent to the Beta Analytics laboratory in Florida which found they were 5,880 years old.

Archaeologist Valdir Luiz Schwengber from the University of Southern Santa Catarina, who is coordinating the find, said the skeletons were found around 60 centimetres (23 inches) under the surface. 

Dr Schwengber said that the island would have been isolated and would have had no drinking water.

Experts believe the site was probably used for ceremonies and funeral rituals.

‘Data collected at the site indicates they had a diet of fish, such as catfish, snapper, sea bass and corvina’, said Dr Schwengber.

‘The small size of the fish indicates that the food supplies were the juvenile fish present in shallow waters.’

Two human skeletons found on a construction site are believed to be nearly 6,000 years old. It is believed the site would have been an island in a lagoon when the ancient humans were alive

Two human skeletons found on a construction site are believed to be nearly 6,000 years old. It is believed the site would have been an island in a lagoon when the ancient humans were alive

The skeletons' skulls and leg bones appear to be well-preserved with the teeth still clearly visible, experts have said

The skeletons’ skulls and leg bones appear to be well-preserved with the teeth still clearly visible, experts have said

The skeletons, which were found during works to extend the road in May (pictured), were sent to the Beta Analytics laboratory in Florida which found they were 5,880 years old

The skeletons, which were found during works to extend the road in May (pictured), were sent to the Beta Analytics laboratory in Florida which found they were 5,880 years old

The remains were found at a site on the BR-470 road in the Ilhota municipality in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina

The remains were found at a site on the BR-470 road in the Ilhota municipality in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina

Sources suggest when Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil it was inhabited by hundreds of Jiquabu tribes, the earliest of which had been around 10,000 years ago in the highlands of Minas Gerais.

These inhabitants were called ‘Indians’ by the Portugese.

Experts believe that these early tribes were part of a wave of migrant hunters who came into the Americas from Asia, perhaps via the Bering Strait.

These cultures never developed written records or permanent agriculture so very little is known about them.

At the time of European discovery, it is believed Brazil had as many as 2,000 tribes who were semi-nomadic.

The skeletons are now in a laboratory owned by a company called Tuburao where they are undergoing further analysis.

Archaeologist Valdir Luiz Schwengber from the University of Southern Santa Catarina, who is coordinating the find, said the skeletons were found around 60 centimetres (23 inches) under the surface

Archaeologist Valdir Luiz Schwengber from the University of Southern Santa Catarina, who is coordinating the find, said the skeletons were found around 60 centimetres (23 inches) under the surface

Dr Schwengber said that the island would have been isolated and would have had no drinking water. Experts believe the site was probably used for ceremonies and funeral rituals

Dr Schwengber said that the island would have been isolated and would have had no drinking water. Experts believe the site was probably used for ceremonies and funeral rituals

Data collected at the site indicates they had a diet of fish, such as catfish, snapper, sea bass and corvina, said Dr Schwengber

Data collected at the site indicates they had a diet of fish, such as catfish, snapper, sea bass and corvina, said Dr Schwengber

The small size of the fish indicates that the food supplies were the juvenile fish present in shallow waters, archaeologists said

The small size of the fish indicates that the food supplies were the juvenile fish present in shallow waters, archaeologists said

Sources suggest when Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil it was inhabited by hundreds of Jiquabu tribes, the earliest of which had been around 10,000 years ago in the highlands of Minas Gerais

Sources suggest when Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil it was inhabited by hundreds of Jiquabu tribes, the earliest of which had been around 10,000 years ago in the highlands of Minas Gerais

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from areas such as biology, history and archaeology are taking part in the work.

‘This study allows us to understand the dynamics of occupation of the territory of the coast of modern-day Santa Catarina’, said Dr Schwengber.

The area where the skeletons were found has been fenced off and is reportedly set to become an educational space.

Research from earlier this year revealed that parts of the Amazon previously thought to have been uninhabited were home to thriving populations of up to a million people from as early as 1250 AD.

Archaeologists uncovered evidence there were up to 1,500 fortified villages in the rainforest away from major rivers – two-thirds of which are yet to be discovered.

These thriving populations were then decimated by the arrival of European settlers and their diseases.

WHAT HAPPENED TO PEOPLE LIVING IN THE AMAZON BEFORE THE EUROPEAN SETTLERS?

Parts of the Amazon previously thought to have been uninhabited were home to thriving populations of up to a million people from as early as 1250 AD, researchers have found.

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence there were up to 1,500 fortified villages in the rainforest away from major rivers in the Amazon – two-thirds of which are yet to be discovered.

This area was continuously occupied from 1250 until 1500 AD, after which point the population dramatically declines.

‘They were probably impacted by European diseases even before European settlers set foot in the area as their diseases spread very quickly’, Dr Jonas Gregorio de Souza, from the University of Exeter’s Department of Archaeology told MailOnline.

‘With the Portuguese settlements in the area there was later direct violence and slavery. This was the final ‘coup de grace’ for them’, he said.

Dr Gregorio de Souza said researchers did not know how rapid the decline was or how many of the individuals managed to survive.

The experts estimate that there would have been between 1,000 and 1,500 enclosed villages, and two-thirds of these sites are yet to be found. 

 

 



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