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How Old Is the Rock Art at La Lindosa?

Friday, March 11, 2022

Colombia Megafauna PaintingsEXETER, ENGLAND—According to a CNN report, archaeologist José Iriarte of the University of Exeter and his colleagues are attempting to date an eight-mile-long rock art mural at Serranía de la Lindosa, which is located in south-central Colombia’s Amazon rain forest. The mural, thought to have been painted over a period of centuries, features images of many animals, inlcuding turtles, fish, jaguars, monkeys, porcupines, and a creature that may represent an extinct giant sloth or a capybara. Iriate suggests that the mural also contains images of the extinct elephant-like gomphothere; an extinct type of horse with a thick neck; a camelid; and a hoofed mammal with a trunk. He thinks that migrating modern humans could have encountered such Ice Age megafauna on their journey to South America. Ochre fragments uncovered beneath the rock faces have been dated to 12,600 years ago, Iriarte added. If a binding agent containing carbon was added to the ochre to create the paintings, the researchers may be able to date the rock art directly. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. To read about other recent research in the Amazon, go to "Dark Earth in the Amazon."

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