Real estate development threatens Brazil’s archaeological sites
A growing real estate market and the speculative buying of land are taking their toll on southern Brazil’s prehistoric shell mounds. The Garopaba do Sul shell mound is nearly eight storeys tall and covers 100,000 square metres, but it is not in good shape as a growing real estate market and the speculative buying of nearby land are taking their toll.
Shell mounds are sacred indigenous sites and burial grounds. They’re believed to be prehistoric piles of domestic waste, largely containing shells, and were built over centuries.
Brazil’s federal and military police are charged with protecting archaeological sites. But officials say they are understaffed, with few resources to police the areas.