It is with deep sadness that we received the news of the death of our companion Denise Pahl Schaan, of the Federal University of Pará. She passed away today, March 03, 2018, as a consequence of a relentless illness that had affected her life for some time. Despite the limitations imposed by her state of health, Denise never ceased to devote herself to her academic commitments. Something that surprised us all, who have followed their challenges in recent months. Denise had an impressive ability to work, which is notorious in the face of her voluminous academic output. She was a tireless researcher, obstinate, disciplined, and always concerned with excellence. In addition to her undeniable scientific contribution to the field of Archeology, especially in the Amazon, Denise was very creative, perhaps an inheritance from her time in the world of arts in Porto Alegre, and that led her to studies on the iconography of Marajoara pottery. In recent years, along with his partner, he has been devoting himself to audiovisual productions, some of which are very well received by critics. This was Denise, taking every opportunity to produce articles, books, magazines, exhibitions, videos. Her entrepreneurial nature led her to create and expand archeology training spaces in the Amazon, including the Postgraduate Program in Anthropology, Federal University of Pará, where she was a founder and teacher, and in which we were colleagues for many years. It was through her that I came to the Amazon, here we worked together on projects, organizing two books and conducting the Brazilian Archeology Society / SAB, between 2007 and 2009, she was president, I was secretary.
Accounting for its production is a task, and it produced an extraordinary volume for those who were just over 50 years old. Denise revolutionized Amazonian archeology, in which she wrote 14 books, more than 40 articles in major scientific journals, some 40 chapters of books, and other academic productions. His publications, which include themes ranging from research to management, combined with his great competence and capacity for synthesis, have made the name Schaan cited in a significant part of the bibliography related to the academic production of Brazilian archeology. The writing was one of his passions, which he worked hard. She once told me that she would like to retire, move to a beach, and become a writer. He had recognized talent both for academic texts and those for the dissemination of archeology. These materials arrived in distant places of Amazonia and for that reason, the name Schaan was heard in several places of the region, especially, that one that made it enter the archeology: the Marajó. I could write pages about her titles, production, creativity, her contribution to our field, the enormous gap that remains with her death, but interestingly, Denise Pahl Schaan never wanted to be an archaeologist, she said,
"I never thought of being an archaeologist and I can say that I became an archaeologist by chance ... I found in archeology what I was looking for: the possibility of developing a work that was intellectual and physical, which demanded creativity and passion that required dedication and responsibility, in which I could give vent to my interests in anthropology, drawing, art, literature, through which I could travel and meet new people, teach and learn. I think if I had chosen earlier for archeology I would not have prepared myself so much to exercise it with the determination with which I dedicate myself to my career nowadays. People who are passionate about their profession and who like what they do know what I'm talking about"¹.
Denise was a shy-smiling woman, but she had this passion in everything she did. Her early death has a strong impact on our community, and particularly on those of us who live with her at university. We have not yet been able to measure her loss, but I know that she has eternalized for her production, so vast for such a young man. Denise Schaan said "the world needs good storytellers" and added "some of them may be archaeologists"2. She was certainly one of the great accountants of the history of the Amazon and this will always make her present.
Federal University of Pará
Belém, March 3, 2018
1 Schaan, D.P. Reflections of an archaeologist and woman in the Amazon, in Dominguez, Funari, Carvalho, Rodrigues (Orgs) Challenges of Archeology: testimonials. Erechim: Habilis editor, 2009, 89-99.
2 Op.cit, p.99
Photo: Video "35 years of SAB".