Tom Phillips reports that a drought in Brazil has provided evidence of an ancient civilisation in the form of engravings up to 7,000 years old, in the Guardian:
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 civilisations.
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. The etchings were “further, undeniable evidence” that the region had been occupied by a significant number of ancient settlements and people.
“There has always been this idea that the Amazon was empty. The truth is that this hypothesis is not correct. In many parts of the Amazon we now have proof of settlements,” he said, adding that the discovery was of great scientific importance…
[continues in the Guardian]