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Home » 16 new rock art sites discovered in Tocantins, Brazil

16 new rock art sites discovered in Tocantins, Brazil

The archeology team at the National Historical and Artistic Institute (Iphan) in Tocantins recently concluded the identification and cataloging of another 16 in the Jalapão region, situated to the east of Tocantins. These newly discovered sites enrich the area with panels adorned with pre-colonial rock art, believed to have been created by human groups around two thousand years ago.

Rômulo Macedo, an archaeologist at Iphan in Tocantins, led the missions conducted between 2022 and 2023 to investigate the presence of new sites in the region. He elaborates, “Among the symbols engraved and painted on the rocks, human footprints stand out, alongside footprints of such as deer and wild pigs, as well as figures resembling celestial bodies.”

Despite the cultural significance of these discoveries, the archaeologist underscores the threats looming over this heritage. Wind erosion, vandalism, fires, and deforestation pose serious risks to the identified sites. To address these concerns, Iphan has initiated and heritage education programs in the region, aiming to safeguard and promote this invaluable Brazilian .

Tocantins boasts a rich archaeological heritage, with recent findings expanding its scope. The state holds immense potential for , with numerous sites registered by Iphan. The newly discovered sites now form part of an archaeological complex situated in Jalapão. Human occupations in these areas date back as far as 12,000 years before the present era, creating archaeological sites that flourished during the pre-colonial period until the arrival of European colonizers.

In addition to pre-colonial remnants, structures associated with the historical period can also be found in Tocantins. These sites hold significance as they reflect the occupation of the region situated between the Amazon Forest and the Cerrado biome of Central Brazil.

With the surge in infrastructure projects in the Amazon states, Tocantins has witnessed a notable increase in archaeological research conducted as part of environmental licensing processes. This has led to the gathering of data from previously unexplored archaeological sites. In this evolving landscape, archaeological activities are carried out by companies tasked with preserving heritage in areas affected by economic ventures. Key priorities in this endeavor include the systematic documentation and dissemination of knowledge about the discovered assets, as well as fostering integration between archaeological research and environmental licensing procedures.

Source: Brazil's Ministry of Culture