Archeologists Find “Sistine Chapel Of The Ancients,” With Thousands Of Ice Age Rock Paintings.

An 8-mile-long “canvas” filled with ice age drawings of giant sloths, mastodons, and other extinct animals, was discovered deep within the Amazon rainforest in modern-day Colombia.

Image credit: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

Discovering the Sistine Chapel of the Ancients: Uncovering a Treasure Trove of Ice Age Rock Art in the Amazon Rainforest

Amazing drawings created with ochre, a natural red clay pigment used widely as paint in ancient times, can be found in the Colombian Amazon at a remote location called Serrania de la Lindosa

The drawings cover nearly 8 miles (13 km) of rock located on hills above three rock shelters. These detailed illustrations are dated between 11,800 and 12,600 years ago, just as the Earth was warming up and emerging from the Ice Age.

The public has just gotten a glimpse of the prehistoric site, which British and Colombian archeologists discovered in 2017. This stunning example of prehistoric art, known as the “Sistine Chapel for the Ancients,” will reveal important information about prehistoric South Americans.


Image credit: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

“These are amazing images, created by the earliest humans to live in western Amazonia,” Mark Robinson, a University of Exeter archaeologist, said in a statement. He had the opportunity to analyze rock art with Colombian scientists.

Researchers had to agree to their mission with the Colombian government and the rebel forces in the area to examine the Serrania de la Lindosa drawings. They then had to walk 5 hours to reach their destination.

Scientists were amazed by the number of individual paintings, which, although not yet counted, amount to tens or thousands. These paintings depict prehistoric people among the fauna and flora of the Amazon region. 

Modern viewers would recognize fish, lizards, and porcupines. Still, the drawings also show extinct prehistoric creatures like giant sloths or palaeolama, as well as extinct ones such as mastodons and palaeolama. These creatures lived in a different landscape than the modern rainforest, which consisted of scrub brush and savanna.


Rock art showing humans interacting with ice age animals. (Image credit: Ella Al-Shamakhi)

Prehistoric humans are also shown in ancient artwork. They wear masks, hunt, and dance. The archeologists can only guess the meanings of certain scenes but cannot examine the paintings. They are confident that Serrania de la Lintosa paintings will offer a crucial insight into prehistoric human behavior and human-animal interactions.

One of the unusual behaviors in the drawings is humans jumping or being suspended from wooden towers. According to the research team, these structures may be why ancient artists were able to paint scenes that are higher than the average humans on the cliff walls.


Image credit: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

The cliff art shows a glimpse of an environment in flux at the end of the last Ice Age. Robinson said that the Amazon was still changing into the tropical forest we know today during that period. The Amazon transformed from a patchwork of savannas and thorny forest to a lush tropical rainforest thanks to rising temperatures.

Ella Al-Shamahi, an archaeologist who has also visited the rocks, said, “one of the most interesting things was seeing the ice age megafauna since that’s a mark of time.” People don’t realize how Amazon has changed in its appearance. It wasn’t always this rainforest.


Image credit: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

Robinson stated that the paintings offer a vivid glimpse into these communities’ lives. It is incredible that they lived among giant herbivores and hunted them, some of which were as large as small cars.

Researchers believe many large South American animals died after the last Ice Age. This was most likely due to climate change and human hunting.


Researchers are studying the drawings. Image credit: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

Excavations in rock shelters have revealed that these camps were among the first human-occupied areas in the Amazon. Researchers stated that the paintings and the paintings provide clues to the early hunter-gatherers’ diet. 

The bones and plants found suggest that they ate various fruits and vegetables, including piranhas, snakes, alligators, palm and tree fruits, and rodents like paca and capybaras.

After the 2016 peace agreement between Colombia’s government and FARC (a rebel guerrilla organization), the rock shelters were excavated in 2017-2018. Researchers started LastJourney as a project to discover when and how people settled on the Amazon and the impact of their hunting and farming on biodiversity.


Image credit: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

Jose Iriarte (an archaeologist at the University of Exeter) said that the rock paintings were “spectacular evidence of how humans rebuilt the land, as well as how they hunted and fished.” It is possible that art was an essential part of a culture and a way for people to connect socially.

Research on the site has been halted due to the pandemic. However, the team believes that the rainforest nearby holds more ancient treasures.

Written by Malith92

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scientists Find a 400-Year-Old Greenland Shark That Was Born Around 1620.

The Adventures of Ryan: A Witty Father’s Hilarious Photoshoot of His Premature Son Doing Manly Things.