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Archaeologists Discover 4,000-Year-Old Art from Unknown Culture

Archaeologists have made an intriguing discovery of a previously unknown ancient culture that had been faded into obscurity over time.

A team of experts uncovered 30 rock art sites, dating back thousands of years, in Venezuela’s Canaima National Park.

The most thrilling aspect of this find is that the art creators belonged to a never-before-seen civilization.

“The newfound art represents a new culture previously unknown,” said José Miguel Pérez-Gómez of Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, in a statement to Live Science.

The pictograms and petroglyphs feature simple depictions of leaves and stick figure drawings of people, along with star-shaped patterns and other geometric designs.

Pérez-Gómez acknowledged the difficulty in understanding why these people created the artwork, stating, “It is almost impossible to get into the minds of people living so many [thousands of] years ago.”

He did note, however, that the images “definitely had a ritual meaning.”

He suggested that the different pictures could be related to birth, diseases, natural renewal, or prosperous hunting.

Even the locations of these artworks “most probably had a meaning and an importance within the landscape, just as churches have a meaning for people today,” Pérez-Gómez added.

So far, researchers have not been able to precisely determine the age of the ancient drawings. However, similar rock art found in Brazil has been dated to around 4,000 years ago.

Pérez-Gómez believes that the Venezuelan findings could be even older.

Canaima National Park is extensive—roughly the size of Belgium—and comprises forests and mountainous terrain.

Its most notable feature is Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on land in the world.

The park may have been the “ground zero” where this mysterious culture first emerged, Pérez-Gómez told Live Science.

He also hypothesized that these people might later have migrated to distant areas such as the Amazon River, the Guianas, and southern Colombia, all of which contain similar ancient artworks to those newly discovered in Venezuela.

Source: Live Science