Several indigenous tribes occupied the coast of Northeastern Brazil for
several thousand years, and the hills of the present day municipality of Olinda
had settlements of Caetés and Tupinambá tribes, which were frequently at war.
French mercenaries are thought to be the first Europeans to get to the region,
but the Portuguese exploited intertribal rivalries and managed to build a
stronghold on the former Caeté village in the higher hill. Recent studies by
the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco have uncovered new evidence of the
pre-colonial population of the area. The settlement of Olinda was founded in