Miles of Ice Age art discovered along South American river

A 15-kilometer "Sistine Chapel" of Ice Age rock art has been found along the Colombian Amazon. It includes depictions of now-extinct animals like mastodons, giant sloths, and paleollamas. Via LiveScience:

Indigenous people likely started painting these images at the archaeological site of Serranía La Lindosa, on the northern edge of the Colombian Amazon, toward the end of the last ice age, about 12,600 to 11,800 years ago. During that time, "the Amazon was still transforming into the tropical forest we recognize today," Robinson said. Rising temperatures changed the Amazon from a patchwork landscape of savannas, thorny scrub and forest into today's leafy tropical rainforest.

The thousands of ice age paintings include both handprints, geometric designs and a wide array of animals, from the "small" — such as deertapirs, alligators, bats, monkeys, turtles, serpents and porcupines — to the "large," including camelids, horses and three-toed hoofed mammals with trunks. Other figures depict humans, hunting scenes and images of people interacting with plants, trees and savannah creatures. And, although there is also ice age animal rock art in Central Brazil, the new findings are more detailed and shed light on what these now-extinct species looked like, the researchers said.

The archaeologists' findings are here.

Image: YouTube / LiveScience