Contribution of the palynology of coprolithes to knowledge on diseases and the pharmacopoeia of prehistoric men of Paleoindians people from North-East, Brazil - Piaui

Sérgio Augusto de Miranda Chaves
    Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP), Departamento de Endemias Samuel Pessoa, Rua Leopoldo Bulhões 1480, térreo - Manguinhos, Cep 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil smiranda@ensp.fiocruz.br

The attention given to the study of well preserved coprolites collected on archaeological sites dates to the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XXth century. Since that time prehistorians and palynologists have been preoccupied with the beginning of agriculture and the anthropical effects upon the environment. Our study is directed towards the coprolites collected in sediments from the rock-shelter of Pedra Furada located in the Piaui State, northeast Brazil (8° 50' 10" S - 42° 33' 20" W). This rock - shelter presents a 5m thick filling whose sequence contains 3 Pleistocene and 3 Holocene layers with human influence. The pollen from these coprolites were analyzed. The results have given a very important palaeoethnological data. Evidence emerges regarding the range of medicinal and food plants of the prehistoric humans who inhabited the site for some 1500 years (8500 - 7000 B.P.).