Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Archaeologists in Venezuela have made a surprising discovery – the first rock art ever found in the southern part of the country.

The art, consisting of carved and painted symbols on boulders and cave walls, was found at around 20 different sites. While similar to rock art in neighboring countries, it’s not clear who created these mysterious markings.

This discovery fills a gap in our knowledge of the region’s history. While Venezuela’s neighbors have numerous examples of ancient rock art, Venezuela itself seemed to lack such evidence.

The researchers, led by archaeologist José Miguel Pérez-Gómez, collaborated with the Kamaracoto people, but no cultural connection between the art and the community was found.

The age of the art is still unknown, but similar finds in nearby areas suggest it could be at least 4,000 years old. The meaning of the symbols is also a mystery, but their placement in prominent locations suggests they held ritualistic significance.

One particular boulder covered in red ochre symbols seems to have been especially important. Its location offers a good view of the surrounding area and has an overhang that could have provided shelter.

This discovery is just the beginning. The researchers believe there could be more hidden sites waiting to be found. They plan to return to the area to document the existing sites in more detail, search for new ones, and ensure their protection.

This finding highlights the importance of continued exploration and collaboration, and has the potential to rewrite our understanding of the region’s history.

The Cave Painters:

Probing the Mysteries of the World’s First Artists

$7.19

“Fascinating. . . . We will be arguing about these glorious creations for many years to come.” —The Washington Post Book World