Ancient rock carvings reveals Human faces and other figures intricately etched , some dating back up to 2,000 years. These have resurfaced along the banks of the Amazon River due to an unprecedented drought affecting the Brazilian region. Archaeologists have unveiled these captivating petroglyphs, featuring depictions of animals and natural forms, at the archaeological site known as Ponto das Lajes, or Place of Slabs, located on the shores of the Rio Negro.
People believe that ancient rock carvings were created between 1,000 to 2,000 years ago. This is not the first time people have seen them; they last observed these carvings during a severe drought in 2010 when the water levels of the Rio Negro dropped to an all-time low of 13.63 meters. However, the drought in the region has become more severe this year, with additional markings emerging as the waters receded further. Scientists attribute this unusual dry season to the El Niño weather pattern and warming in the North Atlantic, linked to climate change, resulting in the Rio Negro’s depth dropping below 13 meters for the first time in its recorded history, reaching 12.89 meters on Monday.
Workshop for Crafting Stone Tools
Among these intriguing carvings of anthropomorphic faces and depictions of water, certain rocks display grooves, signifying that the site may have served as a workshop for crafting stone tools. Carlos Augusto da Silva from the Federal University of Amazonas identified 25 groups of carvings on a single rock, and he believes people used it as a sharpening stone for various tools. According to the archaeologist, “People dedicated this area to the preparation of tools.”
Furthermore, researchers have reportedly discovered fragments of ancient ceramics, believed to be thousands of years old, at the site. This area was once home to sizable Indigenous villages in pre-Columbian times. Despite its designation as an archaeological site, the Ponto das Lajes petroglyphs have yet to undergo in-depth studies. Researchers are approximating their age by drawing comparisons to similar rock carvings found in other regions of central Amazonia.
Moreover, Filippo Stampanoni Bassi, an archaeologist, emphasized the significance of these sites, noting that they hold a wealth of information about the ancient Indigenous history of the region. He urged those currently residing in Manaus today to treat them with the utmost respect.