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21 March 2009
6,000-year old cave paintings found in Peru

More than 10,000 cave paintings - dating back to more than 6,000 years - were discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Quirino Olivera in the Andean country's jungle department of Amazonas. Hidden by the region's lush vegetation for centuries, the paintings were discovered in caves located near the village of Tambolic, in the district of Jamalca, province of Utcubamba.
     "Over the past two years," said Olivera, "we have found 6,000-year old cave paintings, especially in the Cuaco and Yamón mountains, located in the Lonya Grande district. These are in addition to those recently found in Shupcha, Tambolic, were many of these ancient images are concentrated." According to Olivera, most of the Tambolic paintings depict hunting scenes and are similar to those found in Toquepala. The artists used mainly red, brown, yellow and black pigments.
     The Toquepala caves are located in the western Andes, at an altitude of 2,700 meters above sea level. They are noted for cave paintings depicting scenes of hunters corralling and killing a group of guanacos, a camelid animal native to South America. Known as 'chaco' in the Peruvian Andes, this hunting technique consists of forming human circles, to corral the animals and either capture or kill them.

Source: Andean Air Mail & Peruvian Times (16 March 2009)

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