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Still Waters

Unique rock drawing of extinct sloth lemur

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Still Waters

An international team of scientists has discovered stylistically unique ancient drawings, including the only known prehistoric depiction of a now-extinct giant sloth lemur, on the walls of a rock shelter in western Madagascar.

The drawings were discovered by Dr. David Burney from Hawaii’s National Tropical Botanical Garden and his colleagues from the United Kingdom, Madagascar and the United States in Andriamamelo Cave near the small village of Anahidrano.

All the depictions are painted with dry-applied black pigments made from charcoal or iron minerals.

They include several image groupings that comprise naturalistic scenes, with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and human-animal hybrid figures.

Of possible significance is a repeated use of an M-shaped motif (ሐ), with anthropomorphic development in a few cases.


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