Editorial: Special Issue on the Zooarchaeology in the Americas

Gabriela Sartori Mingatos, Simon-Pierre Gilson


Thinking about disseminating the works related to South American zooarchaeology, the idea to organize a special edition focused on this theme arose. We seek to get together articles from all over the Americas. However, due to the pandemic that struck the world in 2020, many contributions were not possible.

2020 was challenging in many ways; we face limitations, unforeseen circumstances and new alternatives to acquire and disseminate knowledge. We were overwhelmed with new demands; we ran out of time so that everything worked as it should be. All the researchers made every effort to carry out their research and their commitments in a time of uncertainty and loss.

This edition can be considered a “warrior” edition, because it persevered despite the difficulties of such a turbulent year and despite the reduced amount of articles, the ties, contacts and kindnesses exchanged between zooarchaeologists from all over the American continent for this edition, it was an unmeasurable gain!

We would like to thank everyone who contributed articles; the reviewers who were wonderful in their notes; to the editor-in-chief for the invitation to organize this edition, for his dedication and commitment to the quality of the magazine.

Among the articles published in this edition, some questions concerning the interaction between humans and megafauna in Brazilian territory are taken up; always a controversial issue among the scientific community. As a bonus, a new way of interpreting Brazilian rock art is presented by Arthur Chahud, Paulo Oliveira and Mercedes Okumura, strongly linking with zooarchaeology to the interpretation of these records. Although it is a small step, we hope that this “spark” will awaken researches of this theme in Brazil. Undoubtedly, two themes of importance that deserve our attention.

The articles here also speak of a more recent period covered by archeology. Zooarcheology is a discipline that has stood out as an important tool to understand how human societies of the past interacted with our planet. This role is valuable in all periods of the long history of humanity.

Raúl Valadez talks about the so-called “naked dogs” or “xoloitzcuintli”, their cultural importance in Mesoamerica throughout the 5th to the 16th centuries and their anatomical differences in relation to “hairy dogs”. A real walk through the available sources from iconography to genetics, incorporating the osteological specificities of these “naked dogs”.

Albérico Nogueira, Olivia Carvalho and Simone Menezes, introduce us to post-contact Brazilian zooarcheology with a particular focus on the presence of bovine animals and their interconnection with the Iberian Peninsula. The theme carried out by Prof. Dr. Albérico Nogueira team came to fill a gap in Brazilian zooarchaeology.

Without a doubt, the contributions presented in this edition are of immense importance to develop and strengthen different points of South American zooarcheology.

Thank you all very much and we hope you enjoy this special edition.

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