12% of Ancient Carvings at Toro Muetro Show Ritual Music

Rock Art - Photo courtesy of Rabah Al Shammary via Unsplash
Rock Art - Photo courtsey of Rabah Al Shammary on Unsplash

Rock art found on Peruvian stones has led researchers to believe it may represent psychedelic ritual music involving hallucinogenic plants, from 2,000 years ago.

A study in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal has found that these ancient engravings found on volcanic boulders in southern Peru, might represent music.

Pre-Columbian rock art designs

Toro Muetro is a deserted site with thousands of boulders featuring ancient engravings. These pre-Columbian designs consist of dancing human figures, surrounded by zigzag lines, and abstract shapes. All of which have been seen on 12% of the carvings at Muetro. Analysis of the engravings suggests that these shapes may be the songs that enabled ritual participants to interdimensional travel.

But first, let me do my rock art

Describing the drawings, researchers explained that the artworks contain a repetition of images of dancing human figures. Accompanied by geometric patterns that might represent snakes, lightning, and water. The carving on one boulder about fifteen feet in length is covered with the images, with some of the figures having additional markings to show faces. Whilst others have more static poses. It’s a high possibility that, due to the spacing of the carving’s colors, it is also believed that the piece of art was planned.

Psychedelic rock art experience

Researchers found that the carvings have similar characteristics to the Tucano people in Colombia. Tucano people were known for regularly consuming the psychoactive drink yajé/yagé, more commonly known as ayahuasca. They called their carvings, “yajé images” which represent reaching the cosmos. The cosmos being the climax of a psychedelic experience with representations of shamanic singing which was part of their ritual to the gods.

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Written by Juliana Zammit

Juliana is a Bachelor student studying Journalism, and photography. Allowing her to narrate stories through text and images.

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