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A mystery from Panama's past

These photos were taken by Robin Baily during a Panama Historical Society visit to Cerro Cermeño, which is north of Capira in Panama Oeste.

They are old indigenous petroglyphs, one of many such carvings found around Panama. Nobody is sure when these rocks were carved, nor is it certain for what purpose. Was the culture that produced these petroglyphs destroyed by the Spanish Conquest, or was this art the work of a civilization that rose and fell before the white men came? It is believed that this and other petroglyphs are stylized maps, but the evidence for that theory is far from conclusive.

Panama's best known petroglyphs are the ones found at El Valle, which draw small crowds of visitors on market days. Many of the sites are listed in Neville Harte's 1961 "Panorama of Panama's Petroglyphs," but not this one in Cermeño.






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