Serra da Capivara National Park State of Piaui, Brazil
Serra da Capivara National Park State of Piaui, Brazil
Black dot: the State capital Teresina in the northeast of BrazilRed dot: Serra da Capivara National Park
The oldest inhabited site in the Americas is barely visited by tourists.
The Capivara National Park is not just a majorconcentration of archaeological sites but a spectacular national park with a reception center for visitors. Few prehistoric archaeological sites in the world can offer anything remotely like it.
The earliest known evidence of people in the Americas is here in the south-east of Piaui, Brazil. The park has more rock art than anywhere else in the world, over 30,000 examples have been catalogued so far.
The oldest rock art here may date from 26,000BC, which is around six time older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Most of the rock art dates from 10,000-4,000BC.
Research at the site is led by Dr. Niède Guidon, one ofBrazils leading archeologists. Her work challenges the conventional wisdom that people only arrived in North America 15,000 years ago.
Dr. Niède Guidon is well-known and respectedfor her championing of the preservation ofarcheological sites in a society where their value isnot well understood. In a state where some politicians seem tobecome wealthy overnight and have endless fundsfor their own projects, she appears to struggle toget money to keep a project of internationalsignificance functioning.
Serra da Capivara has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
There are thirteen trails through the park, ranging from easy to strenuous trails.
Serra da Capivara - Brazil Serra da Capivara National Park was created topreserve one of the world’s largest archeologicaltreasures: thousands of pre-historic inscriptions fromsix to 12 thousand years old, engraved on steep rockwalls. The pictures portray the everyday aspects, thedances, the region’s ancient inhabitants’ rites andceremonies, as well as pictures of animals, some ofwhich are extinct. The relief seen today was formed about 240million years ago.
Researchers found tools, pieces of ceramicutensils and burial sites at the Serra da Capivaraexcavations. The cave pictures and the objects found can beseen at some of the sites open for visitation, among the744 existing sites in the Park.
Today, Serra da Capivara National park isadministered by FUMDHAM – Museum of theAmerican Man Foundation, a private center, inpartnership with IBAMA – Brazilian Institute for theEnvironment and Renewable Natural Resources. It offers an excellent structure for visitation, withdelimited trails and specialized guides. The AmericanMan Museum is located in the city of São RaimundoNonato, a few kilometers from there. It has a collectionthat consists of pieces found in the archeological digs inthe Park.
The fauna and flora are very rich and typicalrepresentations of the region’s stuntedvegetation, where the climate is semi-arid (the“caatinga”). During the rainy months – betweenDecember and May – the vegetation, that seemspoor during the dry season, flourishes. Spotted leopards, armadillos, guineapigs, crestedseriemas, wildcats, margays, serpents, and bats liveharmoniously with cereus, cacti, jujubes, andpepper trees. More than 200 species of birds havealready been catalogued.
You can visit the Park throughout the year, from6 AM to 6 PM. The biggest concentration of visitors isduring the dry season months – between June andDecember – when visiting conditions and local faunaobservation are better. It is mandatory to hire a certified guide, and it isadvisable to take caps, solar protection and water.
Refer to Trilhas da Capivara Travel Agency.They can pick you up at Petrolina airport.
Basic information• Climate: The region’s climate is semi-arid. It rains between December and May. The dry season lasts from June to December.• Distances• To the city of São Raimundo Nonato, state of Piaui: 30 km• To the city of Petrolina (State of Pernambuco, nearest airport): 270 km• To the state capital Teresina: 510 km
How to get there• By Air. Petrolina airport in the state of Pernambuco, 270 km from the Park, receives regular flights from many cities in Brazil.• By Highway: Take BR-343 to the city of Floriano, then PI-140 to São Raimundo Nonato. Another option for those coming from the South of the country is through Petrolina/PE, which is 300 km from São Raimundo Nonato.
Useful Addresses:• Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara Centro Cultural Sérgio Motta, S/N Bairro Campestre São Raimundo Nonato – PI Brazil CEP : 64770-000 Phone / Fax : (55 89) 3582-1612 e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org• Fundação Museu do Homem Americano Rua Abdias Neves, 551 — Centro São Raimundo Nonato, PI, BR Tel: (55 86) 582-1612• Trilhas da Capivara Travel Agency Tel: (55 89) 582-1294 Email: email@example.com Contact: Rosa Trakalo
Where to stay:• Hotel Serra da Capivara Rodovia PI-140, s/nº - Santa Luzia Tel: (55 89) 3582-1389/1760• Camping Pedra Furada Coronel José Dias - PI - Serra da Capivara Tel: (55 89) 9409 1569 / 9405 1907 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://campingpedrafurada.com/
References and further informationIn Englishhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serra_da_Capivara_National_Parkhttp://www.andaman.org/BOOK/chapter54/text-PedraFurada/text-PedraFurada.htmhttp://sites.google.com/site/piauibrazil/serra-da-capivarahttp://www.brasilcontact.com/travel/brazil_serraDaCapivara.htmlhttp://www.globalrockart2009.com/principal_eng.htmlIn Portuguesehttp://www.fumdham.org.br/index.htmlhttp://www.saoraimundononato.pi.gov.brhttp://www.ambiental.tur.br/index.asp