“With the help of hired archaeological services firms, the work takes place in three phases: diagnosis, prospecting and excavation of artefacts.”
Each phase in turn involves three stages – field, laboratory and office – and it is done by a fixed team of archaeologists for each project, supported by local institutions. In some locations, restoration specialists are also hired, such as when we found ceramic objects in Apiacás.
Celebrating cultural heritage
Through the artefacts that are found, we can clarify and understand how communities expanded and the capacity of former inhabitants to adapt to environmental changes.
“I consider this archaeological research work wonderful and essential to Brazil’s history. EGP takes this program very seriously and it is supported by many organisations in each location.”
EGP – and any other company doing similar projects – is obliged to carry out both archaeological surveys and heritage education activities, in accordance with national legislation and the guidelines of the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan).
“At the end of every stage of the program, the archaeological services firm we hired produces a heritage education document, which can be used by institutions as well as by the local population. This document describes the findings in simple language: it’s fundamental to engaging the whole community with the project” explains Ladeira.
Thousand-Year-Old Traces at Nova Olinda
The municipalities of São João and Ribeira in Piauí are home to EGP’s Nova Olinda Solar Park, where the company’s archaeological survey work around the natural park and power transmission line began in December 2015.
“The State of Piauí is noteworthy in Brazilian archaeology as it is where records of the oldest inhabitants of the Americas, who lived 48,000 years ago, were found.”
The work carried out by the specialised firm Zanettini Arqueologia led to important historical and cultural results with the discovery of traces from the farmers that lived in the area 2,000 to 3,000 years ago, to the time when South America was first settled and to the Portuguese-Brazilian colonisation period.
“We have found European ceramic dishes and other artefacts, metal fragments and chipped stones that were probably used as weapons. We also located an 18th century farm ”
The cultural heritage discovered can now be restored to the identity of the local communities by sharing the results and findings.
“Communicating discoveries to society is what makes Brazilian archaeology different from that found in other parts of the world” explains Zanettini. Each record found in the excavations thus becomes a key element to preserve and promote a country’s cultural references that had been forgotten.