Cavernas do Peruaçu Environmental Protection Area

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Cavernas do Peruaçu Environmental Protection Area is an Environmentally Protected Area of Brazil. On September 16, 1998, this area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List for its universal natural and cultural significance.


The Peruaçu valley's canyons, caves, galleries and permanent water supply favoured human occupation as long as 12.000 years ago. Rock paintings are extremely abundant all over the area, in sheltered areas, on canyon walls and in cave entrances. Several painting styles are found together, allowing successive cultural influences to be studied. The cavern's dryness preserved their organic remains, such as the food reliefs. The main occupation of the region was by hunter/gatherers. More recently, different types of plants were cultivated: such as corn, tobacco, cotton, manioc, beans, etc. Grain storage areas and corn paintings have been discovered (Lapa do Boquete & Lapa dos Desenhos).