Priscilla Ulguim

Photo Priscilla Ulguim

Priscilla is a PhD researcher at Teesside University (UK) with interests in bioarchaeology, burnt bone analysis, cremation and South American archaeology. She completed an MSc in Bioarchaeology (Human Osteology) at the University of Exeter (UK) as a Wenner-Gren Foundation scholar supervised by Prof. Christopher Knüsel, while her undergraduate education resulted in a first in class History degree from the Universidade Federal de Pelotas (Brazil).

Her doctoral research will apply advanced analytical methods to cremated human remains from archaeological mound and enclosure complexes in the southern Brazilian highlands. Such complexes appear at the top of prominent hills in intervisible locations from c.1500 BP to 300 BP. Interpreted as funerary sites reflecting aspects of the cosmogony and social traditions of local southern Jê groups, they are linked with the rise of complex societies in lowland South America and Early Formative ceremonial and funerary architecture. However, relatively few studies have analysed the human remains in detail. This research aims to analyse heat-induced change in bone, including microscopic structural and colour alteration, along with ethnohistorical and ethnoarchaeological data on regional funerary practices in order to understand the individuals involved, and interpret the nature of the funerary process.

Priscilla has three chapters regarding this research in press. She has also worked on several international academic projects, with other research focused on zooarchaeological analyses of southern Brazilian lagoon Cerritos sites and Guarani occupations, the most extensive of which implemented a holistic excavation methodology and analysed thousands of icthyoarchaeological remains.

She is Research Associate at LEPAARQ, UfPel, collaborator in the “Jê Landscapes of Southern Brazil” project, “Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project” (Natural History Museum, London), and an active member of BABAO (British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology); ICAZ (International Council for Archaeozoology) and ABRAF (Associação Brasileira de Antropologia Forense) among others.

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