25.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Brasilia to host exhibitions and conferences on the Serra da Capivara National Park

For two and a half months Brasilia will have two exhibitions and a series of conferences with international experts about the Serra da Capivara National Park (Piauí), which is included on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and hosts one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. The event, Serra da Capivara: Brazilians over 50,000 years old entails a museum-exhibition, part of the collection of the Museum of the American Man (located in São Raimundo Nonato, Piaui); exhibits and production of ceramics made by residents of the Park surrounds and a series of conferences organized by various institutions pushing current debates in archaeology, tourism, management of protected areas, management of natural heritage and the productive inclusion of local populations, among others. Access will be free to the limit of seats available in the auditorium.

The Delegation of the European Union, the Foundation The American Man Museum (FUMDHAM), UNESCO in Brazil, the Government of the State of Piauí, the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany, the French and Swedish Embassies in Brazil and Espaço Israel Pinheiro are partners in organizing the event, working with the support of other organizations, such as the Government of the Federal District and private sector companies.

The museum exhibition, Serra da Capivara National Park: prehistory and development will be in the Espaço Israel Pinheiro from 2 October to 15December, 2013 and will be open from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week throughout the period. It will show various aspects of the Serra da Capivara, including natural aspects, archaeological and paleontological finds testifying to the presence of men and prehistoric animals more than 50,000 years ago.

The ceramics exhibition comes from the ceramics factory of Serra da Capivara, a project generating income for families who live in the regions surrounding the National Park. The factory's products are the livelihood of many local families and some pieces are already marketed nationally and internationally. The pieces coming to Brasilia will be on sale during the exhibition, which will also be at the Espaço Israel Pinheiro at the same times listed above.

The conferences, which will be held in conjunction with the exhibitions, will take place every Wednesday from 6pm to 8.30pm, in the auditorium of the Espaço Israel Pinheiro. The organization of the conferences is the responsibility of the partner institution who proposed it, along with specific activities to be offered at the Espaço Israel Pinheiro during the same week. The conference themes can be found in the Serra da Capivara agenda.

Serra da Capivara National Park

The Serra da Capivara National Park was created on 5 June, 1979 and is situated in the southeast of the state of Piaui, bordering the municipalities of São Raimundo Nonato, Coronel José Dias, João Costa and Brejo do Piauí. It is 129,140 hectares with a perimeter of 214 km.

Between 440 and 360 million years ago the region of the Serra da Capivara National Park was under the Silurian-Devonian Sea, bordered to the south by the Precambrian crystalline shield. Around 225 to 210 million years ago, during the Triassic period, a large tectonic movement, that initiated the opening of the South Atlantic, raised the seabed, creating this mountain range formed by sedimentary rocks, sandstone and conglomerates. The rains have carved a spectacular landscape with a number of geological monuments of rare beauty.

The current landscape of the region of the Serra da Capivara National Park is made up of plateaus, mountains and plains. These are the result of changes that have been taking place for millions of years across two geological formations, the Piauí-Maranhão Sedimentary Basin to the north, and the Mid São Francisco Depression to the South.

The climate was moist and tropical until about 9000 years ago. The plateau was covered by Amazon Rainforest and the plain by Atlantic Forest. Some plant and animal species of these two biomes remain to this day in the wettest and most protected valleys. 9,000 years ago, the climate began to become drier and today the National Park is located in the Morpho-Climatic Domain of the Caatingas.  However, exploring the region, you can verify that it really is an area of transition.

The caatinga flora has specific adaptations to drought, because even in the short rainy season, it is very hot during the day, the water resources are reduced and the evaporation from the plants is intense. Vegetables must also resist several months, sometimes years of drought. Several morphological adaptations, anatomical or physiological have combined to allow such resistance.

Despite being relatively poor in species, the caatinga is home to a considerable number of endemic species (groups that develop in a restricted region). One of the reasons why the Serra da Capivara National Park is so important is precisely the fact that it harbours populations endemic to the caatinga, and that its size enables these populations to be in numbers sufficient to survive.

More information:
European Union - Jérôme Poussielgue,
jerome.poussielgue(at)eeas.europa.eu , 61-2104 3143




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