Recently, due to a severe drought in Brazil, the water levels of the Amazon river have reached record lows, exposing ancient carvings of human faces and other figures that date back up to 2,000 years.
The ancient carvings, depicting animals and nature, have been uncovered along the banks of the Rio Negro River at a dig site called the Ponto das Lajes, also known as the Place of Slabs.
The markings are believed to date back 1,000 to 2,000 years, according to researchers.
The engravings were first seen during a period of extreme drought in 2010, when the water levels of the Rio Negro fell to 13.63 meters, which was the lowest recorded.
This month, they resurfaced, with additional signs becoming visible as the water levels decreased. Due to the El Niño weather phenomenon and global warming in the North Atlantic, this dry season is particularly severe. As a result, the Rio Negro has reached a record low of 12.89 meters on Monday, the first time in history it has fallen below 13 meters.
In addition to human-like facial features and illustrations of water, certain rocks exhibit indentations that indicate the location may have been utilized for crafting stone implements.
Carlos Augusto da Silva from the Federal University of Amazonas discovered 25 sets of engravings on one rock, which he speculates was utilized as a grinding tool for sharpening different objects. The archaeologist stated to Amazônia Real, a local news website, that this was likely a designated space for tool preparation.
According to reports, ancient pieces of pottery estimated to be thousands of years old have been discovered at the location. This area was once inhabited by sizable Indigenous communities prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
Although labeled as an archaeological location, the Ponto das Lajes petroglyphs have not been thoroughly examined and their age is being approximated by comparing them to similar rock carvings found in other regions of central Amazonia.
Filippo Stampanoni Bassi, an archaeologist, emphasized the importance of showing respect towards the ancient Indigenous history of the region by acknowledging the black soil, abundance of ceramic fragments, and rock carvings found at present-day archaeological sites in Manaus. This statement was made to Amazônia Real.