The section of manuscripts of the National Library of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has a document from the eighteenth century, "The Manuscript 512".
This document tells an amazing story about the discovery of a city of stone houses and wide streets. The author of this document was J. Barbosa, to
inform the Viceroy of Brazil, Luiz Peregrino de Carvalho Menesez about this discovery. The expedition took place in 1753, in the jungles of what is
today the state of Bahia, Brazil. Leading the expedition were Francisco Raposo Silva and João Guimarães. In those days, Bahia was dominated by
hostiles natives Pataxó and Aimorés, for that reason area was dangerous. The expedition was in search of the alleged Muribeca mines of gold and
Different theories have been proposed to explain the Manuscript 512, a few of them seems to consider the story related in this document false, but if
the document itself had been preserved in a national library, must be for a good reason.
The Legend :
During the sixteenth century, a portuguese called Diego Alvarez was the only survivor of a disastrous shipwreck off the coast of Brazil. This man was
saved by indigenous Tupi-Guarani. Alvarez decided to stay with them and learn their language. He married a girl named Paraguaçu. and they had
several children and grandchildren. One of them, who lived for a long time with the native Tupi, called Muribeca.
After a trip to the interior of the continent, guided by native Tapuais, Muribeca found a rich mine of gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds and rubies.
Over time, organized the operation of the mine and became rich, because selling gold nuggets and gemstones in the port of Bahia (Salvador today).
Muribeca had a son whose name was Roberio Dias, he was very ambitious and he asked the king of Portugal to give him the title of marquis. The king
accepted but asked Dias to reveal the location of the mines in exchange for the title.
When the expedition almost arrived to Bahia, Dias convinced the king's official to open the letter containing the title of marquis. He found only a
minor title, as the captain of a military mission.
For that reason he refused to show the way to the mines, and was imprisoned for many years. He died in 1622 and took with him to the grave the secret
of the exact location of the mines of his father, Muribeca.
Since then, many expeditions tried to find the mines. Francisco Raposo sought the ghostly mines of gold and silver Muribeca, whose physical location
An important document about Muribeca mines appeared in 1839, in Volume I of the newspaper Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute. From that
Francisco Raposo left in charge of eighteen settlers, and after many adventures, beyond a huge muddy area, had to go through rugged mountains. Just
made it through to the other party were clear about the distance, the virgin forest. Were sent to a few natives in recognition and, when they
returned, they said they had found the ruins of a lost city.
We explore the area and we realized that we were entering an ancient city inhabited. We walked among the ruins of the city and watched the houses
destroyed excited thinking that in the distant past must have been fervent actividad.A the entrance were three arches. The plant was much higher than
the two sides and had some unknown characters engraved on the piedra.Luego we move into the ruins of the city, but found no sign of recent human
presence. Everything was abandoned for centuries or perhaps millennia. In the center of the citadel was a square with a statue of a man who pointed
north. On one side of the square was a large building in ruins. On the exterior, appeared to be a great temple destroyed by a devastating earthquake.
In the main square in front of a large river flowed, while the other side of the watercourse had fields with large numbers of animals, birds and deer,
to which our presence strangely asustaba.Navegamos the river for three days and found several stones which were incised strange signs, similar to the
arch of the entrance to the city. We were in the mining area, as it was easy to see large nuggets of gold on the banks of the river.
Many adventurers searched of the lost city.
Teodoro Sampaio, in 1878 claimed to have found in the San Francisco River several caves with petroglyphs and strange incisions, but not the mythical
In 1913, English Colonel O 'Sullivan Beare said to have reached Muribeca mines, on the right bank of the Rio San Franciscor. He said he had seen in
the distance the ruins of the lost city, almost completely covered by the dense jungle, but could not come closer due low provisions and storm that
was about to begin.
Also the famous Percy Fawcett, decided to organize an expedition in 1921. In fact, Fawcett was interested mainly in Mato Grosso area for several
reasons. Fawcett found many petroglyphs similar to those described in the Manuscript 512, but failed to find the lost city.
Fawcett argued that "Z" (how he called it), was a city different from the Manuscript 512, the "City of Raposo", the City "Z", according to him
was a site of a prehistoric culture of white race, the Atlanteans. Later, he admitted that was a possibility that both places were the same.
Debunking Manuscript 512 :
The manuscript 512 was used as an element of national identity for a newly independent nation as it was Brazil in 1839, published and associated with
the legend of the "Minas de Moribeca".
By 1880, began the theory that the Manuscript 512 spoke in symbolic form, the characteristics of the rock formations of the Diamantina Plateau.
The german historian Hermann Kruse and Pedro Calmon who associated the Manuscript 512 with shipments of Guimarães, a trailblazer who toured the area
described in the paper, circa 1752. However, Guimarães expedition lasted only two years and samples brought from the mines found by him, were
examined and showed that they had no value.