History of Brazil/Pre-Cabraline period

It's called Pre-Cabraline period the moment for the history of Brazil before the arrival of the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral, in 1500.

Rock paintings in the Serra da Capivara National Park.

First humans in Brazil edit

The human presence in the territory now occupied by Brazil dates back to 12 thousand years, according to archaeological evidence.

At least two different migratory routes contributed to displacement in pre-Columbian America (before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492).

The first humans appeared in Africa 3.2 million years ago. Thus, it is correct to say that human beings came from that continent through migratory waves.

The most accepted current is migration through the crossing of the Bering Strait at different times. In this way, human beings arrived in Alaska and, from there, left for the rest of the continent.

Another route of displacement would be that of the Pacific. As the height of the sea was lower and there were more islands along the ocean, human beings were able to come sailing to Patagonia and the region that today corresponds to Brazil.

Characteristics of the first humans in Brazil edit

The inhabitants of Brazilian prehistory are divided into three groups: hunter-gatherers, farming peoples and coastal peoples.

Hunter-gathers edit

They lived in almost the entire national territory between 50 thousand and 2.5 thousand years. They occupied the South to the Northeast, inhabited caves and the forest, used bows and arrows, boleade and boomerangs made of stone.

They fed on game meat of small animals, fish, molluscs and fruits. In the Northeast it is possible to find examples of the rock art of these people who portrayed everyday life, war, dance and hunting.

In the South, the "men of Umbu" (in Portuguese, Homens de Umbu) who lived in the pampas of Rio Grande do Sul stand out. These were responsible for the use of the bow and arrow that was inherited by the indigenous Brazilians.

Coastal peoples or sambaquis edit

The coastal peoples occupied the Brazilian coast from Espírito Santo to Rio Grande do Sul 6 thousand years ago. They basically ate seafood, but they were also collectors.

The "middens men" (in Portuguese, Homens Sambaquis) were sedentary, as they had no need to travel to look for food.

The discarded shells with which they obtained the mollusks were piled up and thus were used to build houses. These are the main traces to study these people.

Graves were also located in which the bodies were buried with various objects and painted red. This means that the "middens men" performed funerary rites and believed in another life.

Farming peoples edit

They lived from 3,500 to 1,500 years ago. They lived in huts or underground houses and were knowledgeable in the technique of ceramics.

In Rio Grande do Sul they were called Itararés and in the Southeast and Northeast of Tupis. These peoples gave rise to the indigenous tribes of Brazil.

The Tupi knew agriculture and were therefore sedentary. Pottery was used to store food and as funeral urns when someone died.

Brazilian archaeological sites edit

Archaeological sites are places where the presence of human beings was detected in prehistory.

In Boqueirão da Pedra Furada, in Pernambuco, a group of archaeologists reported the presence of knives, axes and bonfires approximately 48 thousand years old.

In the region of Lagoa Santa, in Minas Gerais, the fossil Luzia, from 12,500 to 13,000 years old, was found. There, there was also found the Man from Lagoa Santa, who would have lived 12,000 years ago.

Other important archaeological sites in Brazil are Santana do Riacho, in Minas Gerais, Caatinga de Moura, in Bahia, and the Serra da Capivara National Park, in Piauí.