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3 February 2004
Discovery of a carved rock in Panama causes excitement

An ancient rock covered in carved symbols has been discovered in a South American jungle by Julien Chenoweth, an archaeologist from Cornwall. The discoverer said a date test showed the carvings were as old as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
     The rock was discovered by Mr Chenoweth after he led an expedition through the Darian area of the Panama jungle, with a party which also included medic Jo Lloyd-King, from Camborne. A previous archaeologist had been told about the sacred stone by a native Indian, but until now attempts to locate it had failed. The rock has been dated to 3,000 BCE. It weighs 30 tonnes and is about 17 feet (5.18 metres) high.
     Mr Chenoweth, who works with the Scientific Exploration Society, said he would now write a report on the carvings for the government and he then expected it to attract international attention. "There is nothing else like it in the area," he said. "It raises all sorts of questions on what people were doing there, but until more research is done in this area and whether there is a possibility of more rocks like this being found, it is impossible to say what it means." He added: "I believe the rock is a ceremonial place or a boundary marker for a tribe's territory."

Source: BBC News (2 February 2004)

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