A traditionally extreme drought within the Amazon River system has revealed beforehand undiscovered precolonial carvings in a rocky outcropping alongside the banks of the Rio Negro close to Manaus, Brazil. The area, often known as Ponto das Lajes, is experiencing its worst drought in additional than a century, and whereas among the carvings have been seen earlier than, the expanded selection will assist archaelogists accurately establish their origins.
The location of the newly seen carvings, which depict human faces, was first recognized in 2010, however this yr’s drought introduced the waterway’s shoreline down by 50ft, exposing bigger parts of rocks and sand.
“The engravings are prehistoric, or precolonial. We can not date them precisely, however primarily based on proof of human occupation of the world, we imagine they’re about 1,000 to 2,000 years previous,” archaeologist Jaime de Santana Oliveira instructed Reuters.
One of many areas Oliveira’s group is finding out options clean grooves, the place Indigenous inhabitants would sharpen spears and arrows previous to the arrival of European colonists.
“This time we discovered not simply extra carvings however the sculpture of a human face lower into the rock,” mentioned Oliveira, who works for Brazil’s Nationwide Historic and Creative Heritage Institute (IPHAN), which oversees the preservation of historic websites.
Whereas the carvings are archaeologically vital, the truth that they’re now uncovered underscores the environmental disaster within the area. “We come, we take a look at (the engravings) and we expect they’re stunning. However on the similar time, it’s worrying,” Livia Ribeiro, a resident of Manaus, instructed the AFP. “I additionally take into consideration whether or not this river will exist in 50 or 100 years.”
This isn’t the primary archaeological breakthrough in Brazil this yr. In August, a Tenth-century village in Formoso was found to have been designed within the picture of the Pleiades star cluster.