For Lagoa Santa, a municipality in Minas Gerais see Lagoa Santa, Goiás
Lagoa Santa (Holy Lake) is a municipality and region in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is located 37 km north-northeast from Belo Horizonte and belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.
Cradle of Brazilian paleontology
The Danish palaeontologist Peter Wilhelm Lund, known as the father of Brazilian paleontology, discovered a cave filled with human bones (15 skeletons) and megafauna (very large mammals) dating to the Pleistocene era. Eugen Warming assisted Lund 1863-1866, and described the flora of the area and the adaptations of the plants to the hazards of cerrado – drought and fire – in a work that still stands as a paradigm of ecological study ('Lagoa Santa'). The tomb of illustrator Peter Andreas Brandt, also an assistant of Lund, is located in the town.
A century later, in the 1970s, French archeologist Annette Laming-Emperaire carried out excavations in the area and discovered the oldest human fossil in Brazil, over 11 thousand years old, given the nickname Luzia.
- Charles C. Mann, 1491, Random House, 2005.
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