HomeCultureVenezuela: Orinoco petroglyphs have been studied since the 19th century

Venezuela: Orinoco petroglyphs have been studied since the 19th century

Cultural Heritage Institute responds to the news that is circulating on the networks, and points out that the petroglyphs are about 2.000 years old and are listed in the I Catalog of the Cultural Heritage Census of the Atures Municipality

The Institute of Cultural Heritage spoke out to point out that the petroglyphs recently reviewed in the Spanish newspaper El País as findings by Colombian and British scientists have been studied by Venezuelan archeology at least since the 19th century.

This Friday the Minister of Culture, Ernesto Villegas, through his social networks announced the position of the Institute of Cultural Heritage after the publication in that Spanish media of information titled "Colombian and British scientists make new discoveries in the engravings largest cave paintings in the world.

In this sense, the Institute of Cultural Heritage indicates that the rock manifestations known as petroglyphs have existed in Venezuela for thousands of years.

“According to research, specifically the engravings located in the Raudales de Atures area on the Orinoco River are around 2.000 years old, these include representations of animals, humans and cultural rites.”

Regarding the qualification of “find” attributed by the Spanish newspaper, the Venezuelan institution indicates that they are “appealing to that naturalized valuation in society, on the importance of archaeology only based on its character of discovery, antiquity and monumentality.”

For this reason, he highlights, "these petroglyphs have been studied by Venezuelan archeology at least since the 19th century, generating data from these investigations that have provided valuable information in the development of chronologies and ways of life of our ancestors."

As a consequence, there is an extensive bibliography on this topic, developed by various archaeologists; The petroglyphs are listed in the I Catalog of the Cultural Heritage Census of the Atures Municipality, and are an asset of cultural interest protected by the Law for the Protection and Defense of Venezuelan Heritage.

Regarding the news that circulates in digital media, the Institute of Cultural Heritage says that it is based on an investigation that was carried out on these petroglyphs of the Orinoco, in which new technologies were used, such as high-resolution cameras, drones to obtain shots. areas, software for the analysis of marks and 4D reconstruction, among others.

In this regard, he comments that "any investigation that meets the site protection requirements contemplated in the law is always welcome since it brings with it new tools and provides data that could not be considered before."

However, - the text continues - this type of news magnifies and misinforms about these fundamental issues in the identity and cultural sovereignty of the people, especially when there are indigenous communities that live in the area and know these petroglyphs as part of their local history and life.

He concludes by expressing “the greatest, the monumental, the discovery, is that which summarizes a fragment or piece of material culture, which, no matter how small, is immense, since it comes from the hand of our ancestors and shapes who we are today.”

Against misinformation

  • The IPC statement emphasizes that “any investigation that meets the site protection requirements contemplated in the law is always welcome since it brings with it new tools and provides data that could not previously be considered. However, this type of news magnifies and misinforms these fundamental issues in the identity and cultural sovereignty of the people, especially when there are indigenous communities that live in the area and know these petroglyphs as part of their local history and life.”
  • The misinformation generated by El País four days ago regarding said “finding” generated reactions against the Spanish media by social media users, especially in X.

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