New Photos from the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Ancients’ Reveal Details About Prehistoric Amazonian Life—Like a Fondness for Bungee Jumping

All images © José Iriarte, shared with permission

Who knew people have been flinging themselves into open air since ancient times? Earlier this week, we reported that archaeologists discovered a massive collection of prehistoric art deep in the Colombian Amazon, and new photographs of the findings reveal early humans bungee jumping just like modern adventurers.

Spanning nearly eight miles, the paintings date back about 12,500 years when people first arrived on the continent. Thanks to José Iriarte—who is a professor of archaeology at Exeter University and an expert on the Amazon and pre-Colombian history—we’re able to share up-close images of the terracotta-colored renderings. Scroll down to see a range of extinct animals, oversized armadillos and sloths, and group ceremonies that make up the 100,000-plus individual paintings, which will be part of a documentary titled Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon airing this month.

 

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