‘Writing on the wall’ Does this Amazon rock art depict extinct Ice Age mammals?

by AryanArtnews
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New York:

According to new research, these lost creatures can be seen in fascinating ocher paintings by ice-age humans at the outcrops of the Amazon rocks in Colombia.

These stunning rock art exhibits on the banks of the Guayabello River in Serania de la Lindosa, long known to the indigenous peoples of the region, are virtually off limits to researchers due to the Colombian Civil War. was. A recent expedition led by archaeologist Jose Irialt at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom has sparked new interest and intense debate about the animal interpretation of paintings. “The entire Amazon biodiversity is depicted there,” said Dr. Irialte. He is both aquatic and terrestrial, plant, and “a very interesting animal that looks like a large ice-age mammal.” Dr. Iriarte and his colleagues, part of a project to study human arrivals in South America, defended the case of rock art depicting a glacial megafauna in a study of the Royal Society B journal Philosophical Transactions. I am. We admit that identifying extinct animals in rock art is very controversial — and the location of La Lindosa is no exception.

Eckehard Marokki, a professor emeritus of language at Northern Arizona University, who published a study on petroglyphs depicting extinct Megafauna, called the team’s claim “wishful thinking.” In his view, the Ice Age interpretation is the result of a “stunning” approach to inferring the nature of the painting. Archaeologists Fernando Urbina and Jorge Penha of the National University of Colombia also opposed the origin of the painting’s Ice Age. The team claimed in 2016 that many scenes in La Lindosa could depict animals introduced by Europeans, making them only centuries old. Dr. Marocchi suggested that the extraordinary preservation of rock art, despite being exposed to the elements, suggests a young origin. These controversies could be resolved later this year when painting age estimates are refined, Dr. Urbina said.

One of La Lindosa’s most exciting images depicts a chunky animal pulling a small offspring. Dr. Irialte’s team believes that these numbers represent a giant adult sloth and its puppies, noting their unique frame and claws. Michael Ziegler, PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human History Sciences and co-author of the new study, said: This painting provided potential evidence of the interaction between Ice Age Megafauna and humans. Researchers have also identified other species that may have become extinct from the painting, such as elephants, camels, horses, and relatives of bizarre ungulate mammals in the Litopterna family.

If these efforts endorse the origin of the Ice Age, La Lindosa’s paintings provide a rare and fleeting glimpse of animals destined for oblivion, the lost ecosystems of the past and their inhabitants. It may open an eerie window to people. Even if the art is much younger, it helps researchers to understand the culture that thrived in this lush wilderness. “At Serania de la Lindosa, the painters portray what is important to them, which will certainly be relevant to both aspects of storytelling, knowledge sharing, and family and spiritual life. “It was,” said another researcher.

The writer is a journalist in NYT © 2022

New York Times

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