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4000-year-old rock paintings. Unique art of a previously unknown culture found in Venezuela

Inna VasilyukNews
Rock paintings that are over 4000 years old. Source: José Miguel Pérez-Gómez

In Venezuela, archaeologists have discovered 20 previously unknown rock art monuments that are more than 4000 years old. The unique paintings were found in the Canaima National Park in the southeast of the country.

Scientists have previously studied similar drawings in other places in South America. However, according to archaeologists, the newly discovered art "represents a new, previously unknown culture," LiveScience writes.

4000-year-old rock paintings. Unique art of a previously unknown culture found in Venezuela

It is not known for certain how old the discovered rock paintings are, but a similar image found in Brazil dates back about 4000 years. However, Jose Miguel Pérez-Gómez, an archaeologist and researcher at the Simon Bolívar University in Caracas and head of the research team, believes that the rock art in Venezuela may be even older.

4000-year-old rock paintings. Unique art of a previously unknown culture found in Venezuela

After all, Canaima National Park is a huge park the size of Belgium, which Perez-Gomez says may have been the "ground zero" where the mysterious culture first developed. And then it spread to such remote places as the Amazon River, Guiana, and even southern Colombia, where there is rock art similar to the recently found ones.

According to the archaeologists, some of the patterns found, which the researchers call "pictographs," were painted in red and depicted geometric motifs: lines of dots, rows of X's, star-shaped patterns, and straight lines that connect to form various designs. The researchers also found simple images of leaves and people. In addition, some patterns called petroglyphs were carved into the rock.

4000-year-old rock paintings. Unique art of a previously unknown culture found in Venezuela

Scientists have not yet figured out what these drawings mean. "It is almost impossible to penetrate the minds of people who lived so many thousands of years ago. But, of course, these symbols had a ritual significance. For example, different images can be associated with birth, illness, the restoration of nature, or good hunting. The places where the rock art was created most likely had meaning and importance in the landscape, just as churches have meaning for people today," Pérez-Gómez said.

4000-year-old rock paintings. Unique art of a previously unknown culture found in Venezuela

Next to the drawings in Venezuela, archaeologists found the remains of ceramics and stone tools. Perhaps they were used by the people who created the rock paintings. According to Pérez-Gómez, this will be clarified during further research, which continues in the Canaima National Park.

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