Getting to know about the life of our ancestors and rebuilding the history and customs of ancient peoples, before any kind of colonization, is a privilege for few in the modern world. Bahia’s archeological sites offer a unique opportunity to get in contact with the pre-historical civilization that inhabited the interior of the state thousands of years ago. Rupestral paintings, stone engravings, tools and fossils compose a rich asset that takes visitors back in time.
In more than 50 cities of Bahia, there are hundreds of archeological sites with rupestral paintings and engravings, distributed in various parts of the state, like Chapada Diamantina, the Caatinga’s region, the Scrubland and São Francisco Valley, in a variety of environments where diverse traditions of the rupestral art can be found. Many archeological sites display overlaid paintings, indicating that the drawings were made in different ages. The estimative of the dates of the painting types is carried out, generally, through the analyses of the tools found near the paintings and also the analyses of the rocks that shelter those drawings. Regarding this dating work, the involvement of the local community is essential. Some cities such as Morro do Chapéu, Lençóis, Palmeiras, Iraquara and Wagner are already working with projects for the education and awareness of the local population, to administrate their heritage and discuss the social activities involving the sites.
The central region of Chapada Diamantina stands out for the potentialities of the archeological tourism in the state. Going along the road BA-052, known as the Bean Road, visitors can see some of these rich works of art that tell the history of mankind and were preserved for thousands of years. Morro do Chapéu, Central and Gentio do Ouro, which reunite around 30 archeological sites with rupestral paintings, are among the most sought after visitation points.