The last hunter-gatherers of Portugal. Virtual paleoanthropological study of the populations of Muge and Sado

The Muge and Sado sites in Portugal are exceptional in many aspects. Dated from the late Mesolithic, they delivered the human remains of the last hunter-gatherers from Portugal and Europe. Estimated at nearly 400 individuals, buried within the shellmiddens, these series represent the largest European sample for this period. However, taphonomic processes, particularly the weight of sediments and shells, have affected the bones (fragmentation, deformation, crushing) and do not always allow a complete study of the individuals using a classical approach.

The main objective of this study is, based on three-dimensional imaging data, to virtually reconstruct individuals from the Portuguese Mesolithic corpus in order to better understand the cranial morphological variability of the last hunter-gatherers in Portugal. This objective will be completed by paleodemographic and palaeopathological studies.

Key words: Late mesolithic; three-dimensional imaging; 3D reconstructions; geometric morphometry; paleodemography; paleopathology

Duration: 2021-2023

Main Researcher: Dany Coutinho Nogueira

Coordinator: Cláudia Umbelino (CIAS – University of Coimbra)

Financial support: Fondation Fyssen