The report of the discovery is published in the February 22, 2012 issue of PLoS ONE, an open access journal. The team was led by Walter Neves of the University of Sao Paulo.
Credit: Citation: Neves WA, Araujo AGM, Bernardo DV, Kipnis R, Feathers JK (2012) Rock Art at the Pleistocene/Holocene Boundary in Eastern South America. PLoS ONE 7(2): e32228. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032228
Early New World art is rare, and the oldest examples are not nearly as old as art discovered in Europe and Africa, which ranges back 30,000 years or more. But this finding is interesting nonetheless. Odd features of the drawing--is it human or a bird or reptile, and does it include an oversize phallus--are sure to fuel speculations about the religious or shamanistic origins of ancient art. The earliest expressions of symbolic culture in any setting or context provide additional insight into the cultural origins of modern humanity.
"Rock Art at the Pleistocene/Holocene Boundary in Eastern South America" is published in the February 22 issue of PLoS ONE and is available free to the public.