Saturday, 12 June 2010


On June 14th, 2010 Brazilian Post will issue a commemorative stamp honoring the Danish paleontologist Peter Lund considered the "Father of Brazilian paleontology and archeology”. Peter Wilhelm Lund, born in 1801, studied Medicine at the University of Copenhagen and came to Brazil for the first time in 1833, to continue his studies in botany and zoology. In 1835, Lund decided to settle in Lagoa Santa, in the state of Minas Gerais, finding the perfect place to live and develop his work quietly. In nine years of research, he explored more than a hundred caves, and found about 120 fossil species and 94 belonging to the current fauna.

In 1844, Lund ended his work in the caves, and took a new direction in his research. In 1845, he sent his magnificent collection to the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and then devoted himself to botany. The next 35 years were spent exchanging letters with the curators of his collections in Copenhagen, as well as receiving the visits of young European naturalists. The complete study of his collections, E Museo Lundii, was published only in 1888. Lund never married and died in Lagoa Santa three weeks before completing the age of 79. He made many friends and gained the affection of the small town of Lagoa Santa, where he lived for many years, providing an invaluable contribution to the town’s cultural life, teaching music, and creating, in 1842, its first band, the Santa Cecilia band.
In the background the stamp displays a cave located in the interior of the municipality of Lagoa Santa, in the State of Minas Gerais, where the Danish paleontologist Peter Lund carried out some of his most important research and findings and lived most of his life in the 19th century. In the center of the stamp, a picture of the researcher in his maturity years represents his dedication to science and appreciation of Lagoa Santa.

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