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Géoarchéologie des occupations précolombiennes de Guyane française : étude des marqueurs pédo-sédimentaires de l'anthropisation

Abstract : The research undertaken in this thesis, aims to identify the formation processes of the pre­Columbian archaeological anthropogenic soils in the French Guiana territory as well as to contribute to revisiting ancient human activities. lt is based on the study and analysis of the intrinsic properties of archaeological sediments, such as, on the one hand, their nature and their pedo-sedimentary composition, and on the other hand, their physicochemical properties. The availability of a corpus of open air archaeological sites in different geomorphological settings (e.g., floodplain; lateritic hill with circular ditch glossed in French montagne couronnée), and the implementation of a geoarchaeological approach combining micromorphological observations and physicochemical analyses, enabled to investigate different kinds of pre-Columbian anthropogenic soils in French Guiana, and to characterize them according to several anthropogenic markers, both direct and indirect. Geoarchaeological analysis revealed that the natural pedogenesis has been impacted by the ancient anthropization and indicates a certain resilience of soils. The soil micromorphology demonstrated anthropogenic microtraces such as charcoal (micro and macro) and fragments of pottery, common to both contexts, as well as different kinds of heated aggregates originating from the surface of the soils having been burned, only for the montagnes couronnées sites. Anthropogenic activity probably also contributed to the process of leaching of clay via the formed ashes. The pedofaune has been transformed as one may assume, in thin sections, the presence of pedofeatures related to Pontoscolex corethrurus. Additional archaeo-environmental analyses implemented in this study (anthracology, phytoliths, magnetic susceptibility) allowed completing the data acquired on the implementation of the studied anthropogenic soils. These studies, pioneering for French Guiana, though inspired by studies in the near Brazilian Amazon on terra preta/mulata or Amazonian Dark Earth, complement the repository of archaeological anthropogenic soils developed in the Amazon. Furthermore, they allowed several hypotheses about the origins of the activity markers, either direct or indirect, observed in the archaeological anthropogenic soils, and evidenced ancient human events that could have taken place on the sites studied. Fundamental activities such as house tires or the cultivation of the land appear to have taken place on the latter. Assumptions about the models of occupation of space have been proposed mainly by refuse areas behind the supposed houses and near the ditch in the case of the montagnes couronnées. This study is situated in an archaeo-environmental approach demonstrating the close relations between pre-Columbian populations with their environment.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01820618, version 1

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Jeanne Brancier. Géoarchéologie des occupations précolombiennes de Guyane française : étude des marqueurs pédo-sédimentaires de l'anthropisation. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016PA01H043⟩. ⟨tel-01820618⟩

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