Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Latin American Library Announces Arrival of 1st Greenleaf Scholar

January 11th, 2010

The Latin American Library is pleased to announce the arrival yesterday of Denise Pahl Schaan, the first Greenleaf scholar of the year. Like all LAL fellows, Dr. Schaan will be giving a work-in-progress talk in the coming weeks.

Dates of fellowship: January 10- February 28

Denise Schaan is an Associate Professor of Archaeology at the Universidade Federal do Pará, in Belém, Pará, Brazil, specializing in the archaeology of the Amazon Basin. She is currently President of the Sociedade de Arqueologia Brasileira, and editor of the prestigious journal Amazônica: Revista de Antropologia. Dr. Schaan has published extensively on ancient Amazonia, particularly on the iconography of Marajoara pottery and society which flourished between 600 and 1600 AD on Marajó Island at the mouth of the Amazon River. She has also worked on gender in Ancient Amazonia. Her publications include two forthcoming monographs, Sacred Geographies of Ancient Amazonia (Left Coast Press); and Cultura Marajoara/Marajoara Culture. At the LAL, Dr. Schaan will develop a project based on her groundbreaking finds and interpretations of enormous, ancient geometric earthworks in the Western Amazon, near the Bolivian border, which have garnered international attention.

Project: Placing the Geometric Enclosures within the History and Ethnography of Western Amazonia: A Tulane Latin American Library Research Project

Project Abstract: The objective of this library research project is to find both historical and ethnographic information on the use of geometric enclosures (popularly known as geoglyphs), which are earthworks built by Western Amazonian populations 1,000 years ago. I will research bibliographies related to the history of Western Amazonia, in particular Bolivia and Brazil, in order to determine when and how the region was first explored, which routes were used, which indigenous groups inhabited the region, and where they were located. Such information will help to fill in the gap of time between the building and occupation of the enclosures and the arrival of neo-Europeans.

Read an article on Dr. Schaan’s research from UK’s The Guardian.