Recently, researchers found that Ice Age animals may have lived with humans in Chiribiquete, in the Colombian Amazon. Thus, the discovery was made through recently discovered cave paintings in the region. In prehistoric drawings, it is possible to find images of humans meeting enormous animals, such as mastodons.
These are some of the oldest records of human interaction with creatures. In addition, due to the wealth of paintings, the place is being called the “Sistine Chapel” of rock art. In other words, this means that, soon, we can realize from our ancestors and animals from the Ice Age.
Humans meeting mastodons and giant sloths?
In the cave paintings, representations of deer, tapirs, alligators, bats, monkeys, turtles, snakes and porcupines were found. In addition, mastodons, as already mentioned, and a large number of specimens from the Ice Age megafauna. Other drawings that represent animals from the Ice Age that were extinct can be found in Brazilian rock art. However, according to experts, Chiribiquete’s paintings are more realistic. So, you can give us more details of what really happens in that period.
In Chiribiquete, representations of creatures such as giant sloths, mastodons and camelids were found. It is also worth remembering that all these animals were extinct due to factors such as: climate change, loss of habitat and human hunting.
In any case, it is not known for certain what actually happened. For this reason, once again the paintings are of great importance in the research of the past. “The paintings give a vivid and exciting glimpse into the lives of these communities. It is unbelievable for us today to think that they lived and hunted giant herbivores, some that were the size of a small car ”, says Mark Robinson, a researcher at the University of Exeter in England.
Until recently, little was known about this “Sistine Chapel” of rock art. However, everything changed when Carlos Castaño, a Colombian archaeologist and anthropologist, traveled to the Colombian Amazon in 1986. Thus, upon arriving at the site, the researcher was faced with a real treasure that, until then, was lost.
Paintings that may have been made some 20,000 years ago
In the case of the new paintings discovered, those responsible for the study belong to the ERC LASTJOURNEY project, from the University of Exeter. In addition, the Chiribiquete National Park, which is where the drawings meet, was officially declared a cultural and biological heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2018. In a small curiosity, the park’s own name, “Chiribiquete”, means “hill where it draws ”in the Karijuna language, spoken by the indigenous people who inhabited the region.
According to researchers, the estimate is that some of the paintings were made about 20,000 years ago. “This is one of the largest collections of rock art in South America. The recorded drawings, probably made for the first time between 12,600 and 11,800 years ago, are in three rock shelters on hills in the Colombian Amazon. The paintings, identified during landscape surveys, also depict geometric shapes, human figures and handprints, as well as hunting scenes and people interacting with plants, trees and animals in the savannah, ”says the study by the University of Exeter.