Andriamamelo Cave

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Recently, unique, prehistoric rock art drawings have been discovered in the Andriamamelo Cave in western Madagascar.

About Andriamamelo Cave

  • It is situated in the western Madagascar.
  • It is located in karstified limestone of the Paysage Harmonieux Protege de Beanka.
  • This is part of an extensive karst region that includes the Parc National de Bemaraha to the south, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the little-studied Antsingimavo karst area to the north.

Key findings

  • In this cave truly pictorial art, depicting images of nature with human-like and animal-like figures have been discovered.
  • The dramatic discoveries contained several surprises, including hints at some remarkable cultural connections.
  • First, scenes depicted in some cases linked up fairly directly to Egyptian religious motifs from the Ptolemaic period (300-30 BCE)
  • Second, other inferences from symbols and writing on the walls showed connections to the Ethiopian and Afro-Arab worlds.
  • Finally, prevalent symbology and motifs evoked a two-millennia-old cave art style from Borneo.
  • At least three extinct animals of Madagascar (thought to have been extinct for many centuries) may be depicted – a giant sloth lemur, elephant birds and a giant tortoise.
  • Egyptian connections are hinted at in eight major images, including a falcon (Horus); the bird-headed god Thoth; the ostrich goddess Ma`at and two human-animal figures which were similar to Anubis – an ancient Egyptian god usually depicted as a man with a canine head.

Q1) What is Karst topography?

It refers to natural landscape that is largely the result of chemical weathering by water, resulting in caves, sinkholes, cliffs, and steep-sided hills called towers. These features form when water picks up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and ground to form carbonic acid.

Source: Madagascar cave art hints at ancient connections between Africa and Asia