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Drought in Amazon Allows Art to Surface




A series of ancient underwater etchings has been uncovered near the jungle city of Manaus, following a drought in the Brazilian Amazon.

The previously submerged images--engraved on rocks and possibly up to 7,000 years old--were reportedly discovered by a fisherman after the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river, fell to its lowest level in more than 100 years last month.

Tens of thousands of forest dwellers were left stranded after rivers in the region faded into desert-like sandbanks.

Though water levels are now rising again, partly covering the apparently Stone Age etchings, local researchers photographed them before they began to disappear under the river's dark waters.

Archaeologists who have studied the photographs believe the art--which features images of faces and snakes--is another indication that thousands of years ago the Amazon was already home to large civilizations.

Eduardo Neves, president of the Brazilian Society of Archaeology and a leading Amazon scholar, said the etchings appeared to have been made between 3,000 and 7,000 years ago when water levels in the region were lower. 





Copyright 2010 PROMETHEUS

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science, Nr. 162, December 2010