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The Niède Guidon path and its significance for the Brazilian flag - Revista Galileu

The Niède Guidon path and its significance for the Brazilian flag – Revista Galileu

The Niède Guidon path and its significance for the Brazilian flag (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Ned Guidon, born March 12, 1933, is a French-Brazilian archaeologist specializing in prehistoric times. His studies in the interior of Piauí from the 1970s onwards contributed to the creation of the Serra da Capivara National Park, an area with the largest number of archaeological sites in the Americas.

From analyzing more than 1,300 records of prehistoric human presence, the team led by Gideon found evidence that the continent’s population may be much older than expected — and it happened in a different way than the current scientific consensus says.

Discover the Niède Guidon path and its significance for archeology:

formation – composition
The daughter of a French father and a Brazilian mother, Ned Guidon was born in Gao, in the interior of São Paulo. Therefore, he has dual citizenship. He graduated in natural history at the University of São Paulo (USP) in 1959, and completed a major in prehistoric archaeology at Paris-Sorbonne, completed in 1962. He received his doctorate from the same university, and submitted in 1975 a thesis on cave paintings from Varzia. Grande, in Piauí – the Brazilian state where she spent most of her career as a scientist.

Serra da Capybara

Rock painting in Serra da Capivara National Park (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Rock painting in Serra da Capivara National Park (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Serra da Capivara National Park is the region with the largest number of archaeological sites in the Americas. There are more than 1,300 prehistoric records of human presence in 130,000 hectares of the area. Gideon was primarily responsible for creating the park in 1979.

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She received the first news of the existence of cave paintings in the area in 1963, during an exhibition in Minas Gerais. He had planned a trip to visit the place, but had to hastily leave Brazil the following year due to the military dictatorship.

exile
Then University of the South Pacific scholar Gideon believes that the exile was provoked by false reports from candidates who did not pass the university’s competition, to the detriment of those who succeeded. From Brazil, she went to France, where she joined the famous National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS or CNRS, for its French acronym) and joined the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris.

In 1973, sponsored by the French government, she led an archaeological expedition in Brazil, working as a researcher in the area that is today the Serra da Capivara National Park.

People of the Americas

A 24,000-year-old stone tool found in Vale da Pedra Furada, Piauí (Photo: Eric Buda et al.)

A 24,000-year-old stone tool found in Vale da Pedra Furada, Piauí (Photo: Eric Buda et al.)

By exploring the archaeological sites of Piauí, Guidon raised a hypothesis that shook the consensus of the inhabitants of the Americas. To this day, the prevailing theory is that humans arrived on the continent from the Bering Strait, between Siberia and Alaska, 15,000 years ago, and from there, migrated south.

However, the dates made at Serra da Capivara go back to an even older period: 15,000-year-old human bones, 35,000-year-old cave paintings and 48,000-year-old bonfire remains.

quarrels
In interviews, Gidon stated that because of his dating, he believed that humans reached the American continent via Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean – which, at the time, was a much lower level. But many of these discoveries in Serra da Capivara, especially those over 15,000 years old, have met with resistance from the scientific community.

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This is because what Gidon’s team considers is that the artifacts (human products) may in fact be geographical artifacts (products of natural impact), such as fires that, rather than camp signs, would be merely the result of spontaneous combustion.

the retirement
After five decades of study, in the place of In Piauí and fighting to preserve Serra da Capivara National Park, Guidon retired in 2020, at the age of 87. The sequelae of Chikungunya, which he contracted in 2016, have impeded his movement, making it difficult to walk through the thousands of archaeological sites in the area.

The Franco-Brazilian scientist thus ended her award-winning career – among other honors, she was knighted by the French Legion of Honor and Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit of Brazil.