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HomescienceRock art found next to dinosaur footprints in Paraiba | Sciences

Rock art found next to dinosaur footprints in Paraiba | Sciences

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Brazilian researchers discovered rock inscriptions in A Archaeological site (Municipality of Susa in Paraíba). What is even more surprising is that alongside these recordings, called petroglyphs, there were dinosaur footprints – showing that the relationship between people and fossil records is much older than previously thought.

The results were described in an article published on Tuesday (26) in the journal Scientific reports. The rock engravings were present at the “Serrote do Letreiro” site, which was named after the large amount of this rock art, which was made between 3 thousand and 9 thousand years ago. Among the patterns are circular designs with internal divisions Imitation of dinosaur footprints.

“The strange thing is that the greatest concentration of inscriptions is caused by footprints, as if the ancients had realized the existence of these strange structures. They deliberately painted not on them, but on their surroundings.” He explains on his profile on X (formerly Twitter) Aline Gilardi, coordinator of the Paleontology Laboratory of the Department of Geology (DINOLAB) at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN).

Similar records were found not only in the municipality of Susa and its surrounding areas, but also in parts of Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará, according to Gilardi.

The presence of the footprints and petroglyphs together indicates that the marks — or the creatures they left behind — were part of the rituals or ceremonies of the people who occupied this entire area, according to the site. Phys.org.

The map also shows where the inscriptions were found; The star symbol indicates the municipality of Sousse — Photo: Reproduction/X (@alinemghilardi)

The recognition and observation of these fossil records by these humans is clear from the location at which they decided to engrave them on the rocks. “Since ancient times, people have interacted with fossils and, in their own way, found meanings and explanations for them,” says Gilardi.

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The municipality of Sousa is famous for housing the Valley of the Dinosaurs National Monument, a conservation unit containing the largest collection of dinosaur footprints from the beginning of the Cretaceous period, more than 40 million years ago.

In 2016, a team led by Gilardi described a fossil discovered by a resident of the area. Named “Sousatitan,” the dinosaur has been identified as a titanosaur and is estimated to have lived 136 million years ago, the oldest of the Cretaceous found in Brazil.

According to the researcher, the discovery of footprints along with human records shows that the relationship between indigenous peoples and fossils existed long before the arrival of Europeans. “For these and other reasons, fossils are also considered cultural heritage, because they help tell the story not only of the very ancient creatures that lived on our planet, but also our history and our relationship with the natural world,” Gilardi concludes.

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