Cabeçalho da página
ROCK ART AND ARCHAEOASTRONOMY RESEARCH AT MONTE ALEGRE DO PAR, BRAZIL. NEW ART DISCOVERIES 2009-2010 FIELD SEASON

ROCK ART AND ARCHAEOASTRONOMY

RESEARCH AT MONTE ALEGRE DO PAR, BRAZIL. NEW ART DISCOVERIES 2009-2010 FIELD SEASON
CHRISTOPHER DAVI S
University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Abstract

This report covers the field season from December 19th, 2009 to March 1st 2010. The objectives were to make archaeoastronomy measurements of the rock art at Serra da Lua and Painel do Pilo that might coincide with the Winter Solstice on December 21st, to locate and record all the previously recorded and published rock art of the region, and to locate and excavate art-related sites at Serra da Lua and Gruta 15 de Maro in order to produce more dates that coincide with the age of the art. However, during this field season the most surprising results were the discoveries of previously unrecorded rock art. Although dates for the new art have not been determined, they are believed to be authentic and ancient, not recent graffiti or imitations, due to the remote locations and pristine conditions in which they were found.

Keywords: archaeoastronomy, rock art, Amazon.

ARTE RUPESTRE E PESQUISA ARQUEOASTRONMICA EM MONTE ALEGRE, PAR, BRASIL. DESCOBERTA DE NOVAS PINTURAS NA ETAPA DE 2009-2010

Resumo

Este relatrio se refere pesquisa de campo realizada de 19 de dezembro de 2009 a 1 de maro de 2010. Os objetivos eram registrar medies arqueoastronmicas das pinturas rupestres na Serra da Lua e Painel do Pilo, que poderiam coincidir com o solstcio de inverno em 21 de dezembro, localizar e registrar todas as pinturas rupestres antes registradas e publicadas na regio, e localizar e escavar stios relacionados pintura rupestre na Serra da Lua e Gruta 15 de Maro, para produzir mais datas que coincidissem com a idade das pinturas. No entanto, durante esta etapa de campo, os resultados mais surpreendentes foram a descoberta de arte rupestre at ento desconhecida. Apesar de as dataes para a nova arte no serem ainda conhecidas, parecem ser autnticas e antigas, no grafites ou imitaes recentes, tendo em vista sua localizao remota e condies prstinas nas quais foram encontradas.

Palavras-chave: arqueoastronomia, arte rupestre, Amaznia.

ARQUEOASTRONOMA Y LA INVESTIGACIN DEL ARTE RUPESTRE EN MONTE ALEGRE, PAR, BRASIL. EL DESCUBRIMIENTO DE NUEVAS PINTURAS EN LA ETAPA DE CAMPO DE 2009-2010

Resmen

Este informe se refiere al trabajo de investigacin llevado a cabo del 19 de diciembre de 2009 al 1 de marzo de 2010. Los objetivos eran registrar mediciones de arqueoastronoma de las pinturas rupestres de Serra da Lua y Painel do Pilo, que podran coincidir con el solsticio de invierno en 21 de diciembre, localizar y registrar todas las pinturas rupestres ya conocidas publicadas de la regin, y localizar y excavar sitios relacionados con las pinturas rupestres de Serra da Lua y Gruta 15 de Marzo, para producir ms fechas para coincidir con la edad de las pinturas. Sin embargo, durante esta etapa del campo, los resultados ms sorprendentes fueron el descubrimiento del arte rupestre hasta entonces desconocido. A pesar de que data de la nueva arte no se conoce todava, parece ser autntica y antigua, no grafiti reciente o imitacin, dada su ubicacin remota y condiciones prstinas en el que se encontr.

Palabras-clave: arqueoastronomia, arte rupestre, Amazona.

FIELD SEASON SUMMARY

Due to the archaeoastronomy objectives of the winter solstice, research began shortly before December 21st, 2009. The crew revisited the sites of Painel do Pilo and Serra da Lua each day from December 19th until December 23rd to observe the movement and position of the sun in relation to the landscape and art images suspected to depict the same. Measurements were taken with a Brunton compass, video, and camera recordings. These positions were later verified by astronomy software StarryNightTM

The last day before the holiday break, the crew sought to find the art locations published in Edithe Pereiras (2004) book, Arte Rupuestre na Amaznia, particularly the locations she labeled as Abrigo do Irupu, Gruta da Baixa Fria I and II, and Painel da Baixa Fria. In search of these locations, the crew encountered several caves without art, including Caverna dos Gmeos (also referred to as Caverna do Miritiep in Milhomens et al. 2008) and Caverna dos Morcegos. Finally, we found Abrigo do Irupu. However, we never found the art of the Baixa Frias, as forest overgrowth was too thick to see beyond a few feet.

After the Christmas and New Years holidays the crew went to work immediately with the excavation at Gruta 15 de Maro. The objective here was to excavate underneath a rock art panel located inches above the ground. The logic was that perhaps we would find rock art that had been subsequently buried by stratigraphic layers that we could date accurately. A 1 x 1 meter unit was opened near the wall in a location relatively flat, dry, and not easily disturbed. However, due to a hole in the ceiling and two large cave openings, much of the cave would not have been ideal for excavation otherwise.

Finally, after all the excavations and mappings were done, we made several new discoveries in Serra da Paituna and Serra do Erer, which appear on the maps (Figures 1and 2). Those areas include Pedra Sozinha, and the geological areas of historical significance, Pedra dos Seixos, Pedra Cruera, and Pedra Melado (see Figure 2). These three geological features are large flat ground formations with peculiar stones. A local informant claimed that Pedra Cruera was an area that Indian women like her grandmother used nearly a century earlier to dry out manioc. The other two areas were probably similarly utilized. The rocks in this area have a melted sandstone appearance, as if they were exposed to intense heat. The actual processes that affected the stone, however, might have been some sort of chemical reaction that took place with the manioc juices, sunlight, and prolonged periods of time.

ARCHAEOASTRONOMY

For five days, from December 19th to December 23rd the crew visited Painel do Pilo in the afternoon between 3 and 5 PM to try to observe if and when the sun would pass through a rock-window precipice near a panel of art that might have been a calendar demarking such an event (Figures 3a, b). From there,

Figure 1 - Google earth view of Serra do Erer with site locations superimposed.


Figure 2 - Google earth view of Serra da Paituna with site locations superimposed.

the crew would then head over to Serra da Lua to try to observe the exact location that the sun would set in front of the art panel there (Figure 3c, d). The rationale for both locations is that the winter solstice marks the position furthest south that the sun can set on the horizon (and across the sky). For any ancient culture observing a renewal of a solar cycle (a year), the winter or summer solstice would be the most important dates to physically track the position of the sun. This might be particularly true at Monte Alegre which, at 2 south, is essentially on the equator, and thus cannot rely on a more obvious change of the seasons or shortening of daylight.

At Serra da Lua the crew discovered that indeed the southernmost sun image on the wall was positioned to face the sunset on the winter solstice, and even appears to be physically representative of the sun dipping below a rocky platform (Figure 3d). At Painel do Pilo the crew was less successful. On the solstice, the sun dipped too far below the mountain before it reached the rock-window. However, the observations taken at Painel do Pilo allowed the crew to better understand the movements of the sun there, and by using StarryNightTM astronomy software I subsequently was able to determine that the sun passes through the rockwindow approximately from November 1st to November 17th 1 to 3 days, and as the sun moves north across the sky again from January 24th to February 10th 1 to 3 days. Although those days dont seem in-sync with the calendar art, those days do roughly correlate with the coming rainy season (at least in recent years) in this region. Many streams and rivers begin to fill up shortly after this time frame.





 © As/os autoras/es que publicam na Amazônica Revista de Antropologia (ARA) retêm os direitos autorais e morais de seu trabalho, licenciando-o sob a Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-No Derivative Works 3.0 Brasil que permite que os artigos sejam reutilizados e redistribuídos sem restrições, desde que o trabalho original seja citado corretamente.

Gerencia do Portal:

Luciléia Silva

Email: lucileia@ufpa.br

 

Creative Commons License
Amazônica - Revista de Antropologia da Universidade Federal do Pará é licenciada sob uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-No Derivative Works 3.0 Brasil.

This is an open-access website under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Comercial License.
Based on a work at www.periodicos.ufpa.br.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.periodicos.ufpa.br/index.php/amazonica.