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Faces, spirals and bowls
Symbols what Piura and abroad could share.

By Luis Correa / FACTORTIERRA.NET  Cambia a español.

SULLANA, Peru – Beginning from Paulini Petroglyph’s finding in Sapillica [pronounce “Sapijeecah”](Ayabaca County), we have been reviewing available information on art-on-the-rock, including the research that FACTORTIERRA.NET did in Malingas, Tambogrande Piura County) since 2009 until 2011, and similitudes are very amazing, although we have to warn they are just hypotheses that need an expert opinion reaching to hard conclusions.

Remember that Archeologist
Daniel Dávila, who has accompanied us to register petroglyphs in Malingas, thinks all the paterns seem to coincide in the same technique and design called Samanga Tradition.

For Dávila, people who lived in the actual
Amazonas State migrated to the West four millenia ago, and they were leaving evidences in specific places as they moved on. That could explain petroglyphs but not migration cause yet. The fact is they occupied the whole Piura State’s Eastern portion.

Another researches, like Waldemar Espinoza’s, sustain Ayawaka people came from Amazon Basin, and it is supposed they were
Samanga Petroglyphs’ authors. Then, Samanga Tradition Could have a strong Amazonian component.

But the pretty intriguing, what we believe needs an urgent specialized study, is similitude of symbology presented by Malingas and Sapillica petroglyphs to others in the rest of Americas and Western europe.

Nice faces
Beginning with the face seal. It consists on a circle with several static dots looking like the eyes and mouth of a face, or they could be three circumscribed dots to the circle what means some location.
Curiously, those faces appear next to a rectangular image.
Could were the faces of the people who carved the petroglyphs or just sinoptical maps of their location?

Image 1: Petroglyph of Morán Mt., in Malingas (Tambogrande, Peru), supposedly the greatest of the zone.
Photo by estany Tineo / FACTORTIERRA.NET

Image 2: Devils of Guaraguaos Alto Petroglyph, where all begun before us even. (Tambogrande, Peru).
Photo by Franco Alburqueque / FACTORTIERRA.NET

Image 3: Paulini Petroglyph in Loma Alta (Sapillica, Peru).
Photo by

Image 4: Samanga Petroglyph (Ayabaca, Peru).
Photo Courtesy INC.

Bring me water, please!
But what amazed us very much is the spiral that repeats in Paulini and Samanga Petroglyphs. “It could be about concentric circles,” Sullana-based plastic artist Dandy Ruíz watches.

Image 5: Simple spiral in Paulini Petroglyph (Sapillica, Peru).
Photo by Marco Paulini / FACTORTIERRA.NET

This spiral is spinning to the right, like clockwise. Abroad it’s belief that could be “the Winter Sun shrinking.”
They add this type of spiral was used to summon water element or signing on drinkable sources. Coincidentally, petroglyphs of Malingas and Sapillica are nearby a water natural spot.

Abroad it’s belief it was a good luck symbol because it represented the balance and the harmony of the Sun and the earth.

Image 6: Double spiral in Samanga Petroglyphs (Ayabaca, Peru).
Photo Courtesy INC.

This double spiral is the most curious and it paid my attention. Some authors think those two spirals / double-crossed are a symbol linked to the water, which is an element of transition, transformation and regeneration.

Samanga Petroglyphs are below at a valley limited by a mountains chain at the West that divides Macara and Quiroz little basins (where actual Ayabaca City is located) and another to the East that divides Pacific Basin (Chira Basin) and Atlantic Basin (Chinchipe Basin).

Specialist think it represents
things duality and the growth related to cosmos movement. It could be used to represent equinoxes, in other words the moments of the year when days last equal than nights in every place of Earth but poles.

This symbol appears in another cultures as Hindi, Aztecan, Mayan, Inca and many others more, meaning different concepts according to the civilization, all related to the universe, the stars, the evolution, the transformation.

Image 6.1: Spirals in a Celt temple. Taken from Spiral’s Symbology on en (in Spanish)

Image 6.2: Double spiral found on a petroglyph near Chincheros, Sacred Valley of Incas (Cusco, Peru)
Photo by Juan Carlos Chavarría.

The bowls
During the exploration in Malingas, we learned that for each petroglyph it was almost ever mandatory to find inverted domes, a kind of bowls carved on huge blocks of granite or basalt rocks, what locals call stone plateaus.

The two places where they are most visible are La Reja [pronounce “Larreha”] and Platillos, [pronounce “Platiyos”], or Little Bowls in english, town that takes its name in Spanish from the shape of this carvings.

There are few studies related to those stone bowls, but
Manuel Santos Estévez’s Petroglyphs and Social Landscapes in Recent Pre-History of Northwestern Iberian Peninsula *has two hypotheses.

The first one is those holes could have served to put some kind of structture like posts, what could present a circular display fully closing the rock where they are located.
Gournay sur Arounde
Sanctuary (France) presents a structure in some similar way to the found in Pedra Fita (Lugo, Spain), a deposit formed by an oval pit surrounded by nine holes displayed in a half-a-circle (Brunaux, 1996).

A second hypotheses could draw up from Monte Ferro holes in Nigrán (Vigo, Spain), where it’s possible that the concaves be mills because their location.

Image 6.3: Inverted domes in Platillos (Tambogrande, Peru).
Photo by estany Tineo / FACTORTIERRA.NET

Then, why did they do them, so what do they mean? Based on what we have found, petroglyphs and inverted domes of Malingas and Sapillica could be dedicated to the water. In fact, almost all they are located next to a spring or flows like lakes, creeks or rivers.

It can be a wall carving representing a public ritual, something like today we photograph a music concert or a ceremony of any kind,” plastic artist Dandy Ruíz interpretes watching the Paulini Petroglyph. Was a water cult ritual what is conserve don the rock, about 4000 years at the most?

Galicia Rock Shrines
(Spain) are so similar to Malingas Shrines because of so-called sacrifice tables full of petroglyphs with concentric circle design fundamentally. Authors point out they could represent water movements, repeated explanation in other similar sites.

The representation could be linked to hot springs presence (what it lacks to determine if it’s concistent for Piura), what connect us to the water again.

Image 6.4: Sacrifice table in Do Boi Mount (Bayona, Spain).
Photo Courtesy

Was the water a critical element for migrants 4000 years ago? Did they become to worship it because their life depended on it?

Today, water is a critical issue on the global discussion because humankind survival depends on it. Was all that rock art just a warning for Peruvian pre-historic people, or does it also apply for our time as well?

Until a Group of Experts arrive to Malingas, Sapillica and other surrounding sites in Piura, we only will have just suppositions, and science is what we demand for real.

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* Translation of the book title in English is ours. It is probable you find an English Version entitled in a different way.

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