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Morro do Chapéu

Archaeology in Bahia

Lagoa da Velha: rupestrian paintings are now being examined

secultbaLagoa da Velha: rupestrian paintings are now being examinedsecultba

Thanks to the excavation begun in November 2013 at the Lagoa da Velha archeological site, located in the municipality of Morro do Chapéu, in Bahia, archeologists and anthropologists hope to gain a better understanding of how the region’s inhabitants lived thousands of years ago. The excavation work is part of a research and management program aimed at sites of rupestrian art in the Diamantina Plateau, conducted by the Institute for Artistic and Cultural Heritage in partnership with the Department of Anthropology of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). Born from a 1.6-billion-year-old sedimentary basin, the Diamantina Plateau holds one of Brazil’s richest troves of caves, rupestrian paintings, and plant and animal fossils. During the first phase of the project, researchers mapped out 67 sites of rupestrian paintings, where they found chipped objects that may provide new clues on the habits of the region’s ancient people. The second phase, which got underway in July 2012, has featured additional digging and has also inaugurated the identification and study of the rupestrian paintings and engravings that have been found. The Lagoa da Velha digs are part of the same geological formation that is home to the Paridas mountain range, in the municipality of Lençóis, where researchers had earlier located rupestrian paintings of animals, plants, and geometric and human shapes, done with red and yellow pigments.