Useful plants and their relation to archaeological sites in the Serra de Carajás, Brazil

Abstract: Multidisciplinary studies including archeology and ethnobotany that seek to understand human interventions on the landscape have obtained important results concerning Amazon biodiversity. This study aims to identify the useful plants in different phytophysiognomies related to archeological sites in the Serra de Carajás, in the state of Pará, as well as expand knowledge of the local flora. Information was collected in 76 parcels located in the influence areas of 15 archaeological sites: 45 in forest vegetation, 30 in canga vegetation and 1 in palm swamps. The species were categorized as either medicinal, food, game attractants, firewood, toxic, ritualistic and material. An assessment of the plants use potential by family was done using regression analysis for the taxa inventoried. All the phytophysiognomies studied in the vicinity of archaeological sites were expressive regarding useful species. The most representative categories were medicinal, material, game attractant, firewood and food. The floristic features related to the use of plant species by family were also expressive for Fabaceae, Myrtaceae and Chrysobalanaceae. The phytophysiognomies identified near archaeological sites feature several plant resources in different use categories, highlighting the value of local ecosystems and their potential for human use.