A “canvas” of 8 miles long filled with ice age drawings of behemoths, giant sloths and other extinct beasts discovered in the Amazon rainforest

Magnificent art, drawn with ocher – a red pigment frequently used as a paint in the ancient world – spans almost 13 Kilometers of rock on the hills above three rock shelters in the Colombian Amazon, according to a new study

“These are really amazing pictures, produced by the first people to live in the western Amazon”, Co-researcher Mark Robinson said in a statement, archaeologist at the University of Exeter, who analyzed rock art alongside Colombian scientists.

Indigenous peoples probably began to paint these images at the archaeological site of Serranía La Lindosa, at the northern limit of the Colombian Amazon, towards the end of the last ice age, there are approximately 12 600 at 11 800 years. Meanwhile, “the Amazon was still transforming into the rainforest that we recognize today”, Robinson said Rising temperatures have turned the Amazon into a mosaic of savannahs, from thorny scrub and forest to today's tropical deciduous forest

The thousands of paintings from the Ice Age include both handprints, geometric designs and a wide variety of animals, of “small” – like deer, les tapirs, alligators, bats, monkeys, turtles, snakes and porcupines – to the “big , “including camelids, three-toed hoofed horses and mammals with trunks Other figures depict humans, hunting scenes and images of people interacting with plants, trees and creatures of the savannah And, although there is also animal rock art from the Ice Age in central Brazil, new findings are more detailed and shed light on what these now extinct species looked like, said the researchers.

“The paintings provide a vivid and exciting glimpse into the life of these communities”, said Robinson «It is amazing for us today to think that they lived among and hunted giant herbivores, some of which were the size of a small car.”

Many large South American animals became extinct at the end of the last ice age, probably due to a combination of human hunting and climate change, said the researchers.

Rock shelter excavations revealed that these camps were among the earliest human-occupied sites in the Amazon Paintings and camps offer clues to the diets of these early hunter-gatherers; for example, bone and plant remains indicate the menu included palm and tree fruit, des piranhas, des alligators, snakes, frogs, rodents such as paca and capybara, and armadillos, said the researchers.

Scientists searched the rock shelters in 2017 and 2018, following the peace treaty of 2016 between the Colombian government and the FARC, a rebel guerrilla group After the peace agreement, the researchers led a project known as LastJourney, which aimed to find out when people first settled in the Amazon and what impact their agriculture and hunting had on the region's biodiversity.

“These cave paintings are spectacular evidence of how humans rebuilt the earth, and how they hunted, cultivated and fished”, said study co-investigator José Iriarte, archaeologist at the University of Exeter. «It is likely that art was a powerful part of culture and a way for people to connect socially”

The results were published in April in the journal Quaternary International, and the University of Exeter released a statement today (nov. 30) to coincide with a new television documentary about the discovery titled “Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon”, which will be broadcast in UK in December

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Amazon forest, rock art, ice age, tropical forest

News – United States – Extensive «canvas» of 8 miles long of Ice Age beasts discovered hidden in the Amazon rainforest

Source: https://www.livescience.com/ice-age-rock-art-amazon.html

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