added by archaeologs Based on the southern coast of Brazil, the tradition is named after a local term meaning shell midden. Crudely chipped stone tools and a subsistence strategy based on molluscs and fish imply that Sambaqui sites represent an Archaic lifestyle and were therefore only seasonally occupied. Exceptional in this general context, however, are well-finished polished stone effigies (usually of birds or fish) which have a basinlike depression in the back. Probably of ceremonial significance, it has been suggested that these effigies were used in the ritual taking of snuff. An early radiocarbon date of 5800 ± 1300 be is usually regarded as anomalous since most dates fall in the range 3000-1500 be.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983