Oldest Human Presence in Paraguay Found in Jasuka Venda‎

By Dialogo
March 03, 2009

While investigating the cultural legacy of the indigenous Paî Tavyterâ people, a team of Spanish ‎experts has found in Paraguay the remains of a human being that date back 5,000 years.‎ The discovery, in the department of Amambay, more specifically in a hill known as “Jasuka ‎Venda,” was found by a team from the Museum of Altamira, which is the custodian of ‎information on the Altamira Caves, located in the Spanish Cantabrian coast, and which is the ‎main exponent of cave art from the Upper Paleolithic period.‎ The Museum will present details of the discovery to the International Congress of Cave Art, ‎which will be held next July. ‎ However, museum director José Antonio Lasheras has made plans to travel to Paraguay in the ‎next few days to present to the Paraguayan society and the Paî people an advance report on the ‎results.‎ More specifically, on March 6th, Lasheras will participate in a conference with indigenous ‎leaders and with representatives of all the communities in order to share the results of his work. ‎ Afterward, he will reveal his conclusions in two conferences that will take place at Universidad ‎Nacional in Pedro Juan Caballero, and in the Spanish “Juan de Salazar” Cultural Center in ‎Asunción. ‎ Today the Altamira Museum explained that, besides the most ancient human remains in ‎Paraguay, they have also found in this hill “unprecedented until now” specimens of cave art in ‎the “pisadas style,” which is very well known in the region, which includes Brazil, Argentina, ‎Chile, and Bolivia. ‎ According to the Spanish research team, this discovery would suggest that “this region might be ‎the place of origin and center of dissemination of this kind of cave art to almost all of South ‎America.”‎ ‎“Jasuka Venda” hill is conceived as the main cultural legacy of the Guarani tribe of Paî ‎Tavyterâ, a place where, according to indigenous beliefs, the Creator God and the Big ‎Grandfather, Ñande Ru, originated, and from which the world and humanity were created. ‎ The legal owner of the hill, the Paî Reta Joaju community association, took the initiative to ‎promote the archaeological study of the area, and to request the collaboration of the Altamira ‎Museum to make an inventory of their cultural legacy. ‎ The museum has also planned to expand the results of this research to its headquarters in ‎Santillana del Mar, in the Cantabric region, which will soon open a temporary exhibition on the ‎discovery. ‎ The museum also stated that the Cultural Secretary of Paraguay is interested in extending the ‎collaboration that made this archaeological research possible, which has also been supported by ‎the Spanish Agency of Cooperation for Development and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.‎
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