Researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK have reported that the paintings may have been made about 11,800-12,600 years ago.
The paintings are set in three different rock camps, the largest of which is called Zero Azul, which has 12 panels and thousands of unique drawings.
Located in Serenia la Lindosa in modern Colombia, this rock art shows how the early humans of the region were associated with the Ice Age megabouna, with giant laziness, mastodons, camels, horses and three-toed trunks attached.
“These are truly incredible images, made by the early people who lived in western Amazonia,” said Mark Robinson, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter.
“The paintings give a clear and wonderful look The life of these communities. It is unbelievable to us today to think that they hunted and hunted giant plants that were the size of a small car. “
Other images show human figures, geometric shapes and hunting scenes, as well as animals such as deer, tadpoles, crocodiles, bats, monkeys, turtles, snakes and hedgehogs.
Red paintings created using pigments extracted from scraped ocher are one of the largest collections of rock art in South America.
By the time the maps were made, the vast leaf known to us today was shifting from the tropics of the Amazon savannah, tropical forest and thornbush to the tropical forest.
Artists may have used fire to remove rock and create flat surfaces for painting, experts say. When paintings are exposed to elements, they are protected by excess rock, which means they are in better condition than other rock art found on the Amazon.
Some of them were drawn very high on the rock and would have required “special ladders designed from forest resources” to build them, the press release said.
The painters were hunters who ate palm and tree fruit, as well as fishermen for piranhas and crocodiles in a nearby river. Bones and plant debris also reveal that they ate pakas, frogs, armadillos and rodents, including pakas and capybara.
Researchers at the project are working to determine when humans first settled in the Amazon region and how their existence affected biodiversity.
Jose Iriardte, an archeology professor at Exeter, told CNN that the findings were the beginning of a five – year project.
One of the immediate objectives is to document all the rock art in the area and create depictions of other animals, he said.
“These rock paintings are wonderful evidence of how humans rebuilt the land, how they were hunted, bred and fished,” Iriardte said in a statement.
“Art can be a powerful part of culture and a way for people to socially integrate. The pictures show how people could have lived among the giant, now extinct, animals they hunted.”
Iriardte was inspired by the reality of paintings made during a rare window in which early humans lived with the megapavuna.
“The level of observation of the animals was incredible,” he said.
Rock paintings have been featured on Channel 4 in the UK on the new TV series “Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon” and the findings are described in an article in Quaternary International.
Robinson and Iriarde worked on the project with Javier Acidono of the Universidad de Antigua in Medellin, Colombia, and Caspar Morcott-Rios of the Universidad National de Colombia in Bogot.
Local communities were familiar with the rock paintings, and the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group helped researchers document them after they were disarmed after 52 years of conflict. Researchers worked at the site in 2017 and 2018.