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Brazil’s Amazon region is experiencing a severe drought that has drawn water levels down to unprecedented lows.
Still, the drought has also unveiled a myriad of stone carvings of human faces and other figures dating back more than a thousand years, the Guardian reported.
Archaeologists found the petroglyphs on the shores of the Rio Negro River, near the Ponto das Lajes– or Place of Slabs – archaeological site, and which include images of human faces, animals and other natural forms. The researchers explained that some rocks displayed grooves that suggest the site was also used to produce stone tools.
So far, they have identified 25 groups of carvings on one rock, which they believe to have been used as a whetstone to sharpen tools.
The archeological team suggested the petroglyphs were created between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago, but said that they need to further study the carvings to confirm their age.
However, their discovery is not entirely new.
The carvings were previously sighted during a severe drought in 2010 that saw the Rio Negro’s levels drop to nearly 45 feet – then an all-time low.
Currently, the river’s levels have receded below 42 feet as a result of an unusually dry season which scientists attribute to the El Niño weather pattern and warming in the North Atlantic linked to climate change.