Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais

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Location of Lagoa Santa within Minas Gerais

Lagoa Santa(Holy Lagoon) 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[edit]

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.[1] The municipality contains 56% of the 2,004 hectares (4,950 acres) Sumidouro State Park, created in 1980, which protects the cave where Lund made his discovery of the "Lagoa Santa Man".[2]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Riedel, Agusto. "Brandt's Tomb in Lagoa Santa". World Digital Library. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  2. ^ "Parque Estadual do Sumidouro", Descubra Minas (in Portuguese), SENAC Minas, retrieved 2016-12-12
  • Charles C. Mann, 1491, Random House, 2005.

Coordinates: 19°37′37″S 43°53′24″W / 19.62694°S 43.89000°W / -19.62694; -43.89000