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Story Publication logo July 9, 2019

Excavations for New Hydroelectric Plants Reveal Archaeological Wealth in Mato Grosso (Portuguese)

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Image by Juliana Arini.
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An investigation into the socio-environmental impacts caused by the construction of six...

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Rock drawings at the archaeological site of Pedra Preta de Paranaíta, in Mato Grosso. Before the construction of new hydroelectric plants, companies are forced to excavate the area to prevent archaeological remains from being destroyed. In addition to raising the debate about respect for the traditional culture of indigenous peoples, the findings have helped to rewrite the occupation history of the Amazon. Image by Juliana Arini. Brazil, 2019.
Rock drawings at the archaeological site of Pedra Preta de Paranaíta, in Mato Grosso. Before the construction of new hydroelectric plants, companies are forced to excavate the area to prevent archaeological remains from being destroyed. In addition to raising the debate about respect for the traditional culture of Indigenous peoples, the findings have helped to rewrite the occupation history of the Amazon. Image by Juliana Arini. Brazil, 2019.

A trail of hundreds of rock carvings runs through the Black Stone granite formation in Paranaíta. The black moss-covered slab rises thirty-seven meters above a patch of forest in the southern Amazon, in the Upper Tapajós, in Mato Grosso.

The landscape looks like it comes from science fiction. Rain collects in dark ponds in the soil that mirror the sky and are surrounded by tiny flowers. Panels with petroglyphs of up to 40 meters in size bring to mind images of dancing human bodies, shooting stars, animals and diverse geometric figures. The scorching sun adds to the feeling of hallucinations for visitors.

Read the full National Geographic Brazil in Portugese here.

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