COLOMBIAN PEACE allows cultural jewels to re-emerge.

SAN GUAVIARE : Deep inside the lush green and humid  Amazonian jungle, a sinewing path stops abruptly in front of a giant rock face decorated with ancient paintings of anacondas, jaguars and tortoises.

For millennia, indigenous Colombians have been illustrating their mythology to rock art, but these national treasures, laid hidden -and preserved- during decades of war between government forces and Marxist rebels.

In the heart of the Guaviare jungle, a strategic area that armed groups continue to fight over, lies a Unesco World Heritage site national park in which the Serrania do Chiribiquete table top mountains stand tall like giant drums.

The rock frescoes adorning their sides occupy an invaluable place in the understanding of Amazonian settlement.

"It was very difficult to work in the Guaviare because it was the epicentre..... of the war these last 50 years,'' Ernesto Montenegro, general manger at Colombia's Anthropology and History Institute  [ICANH], said.

Although there were exploration missions at the start of the 20th century they stopped because of the  [precarious] situation."

Since the 2016 peace accord that ended the war with FARC guerrillas, adventurers have ventured forth once again to try to decipher the secrets of the  ritual drawings, some of which date back at least  12,000 years.

Sacred Spirits : The area is sacred to the  indigenous people of the jungle and not everyone has the right to even approach the rock art.

"Only wise men are worthy of entering sacred sites, in which spirits dwell. The common mortals should not even allow their thoughts to wander in,'' said Andrew Lopez, a historian at the institute mud to a rock painting spanning 30 metres [100 feet] in height 100 metres in length.

The honor and serving of the latest Operational Research on war shattered Colombia continues to Part 2.


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