Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

The prehistoric cave paintings of Caverna De Pedra Pintada

Watch more with these video collections:

Follow archaeologists Anna Roosevelt and Christopher Davis into Caverna De Pedra Pintada, Portuguese for “Cave of the Painted Rock.” This prehistoric rock shelter, located in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, contains an extensive collection of rock paintings, believed to be created by indigenous peoples who lived in the Americas thousands of years earlier than previously thought. From the video:

“The standard view is that people reached the Amazon about a thousand years ago. But what Anna excavated in the Cave of the Painted Rock changes everything.”

cave paintings

“‘The remains we found and dated in the cave show that people were living deep in the Amazon forest at 13,000 years ago. This is some of the earliest art in the world and it’s definitely, so far, the earliest art in the hemisphere.'”

The video clip is from the first episode of PBS’ Native America (2017), a four-part documentary that explores the long and often-untold history of America’s First Peoples.

Roosevelt and Davis
Via an interview with Roosevelt in Pesquisa FAPESP:

“In the Pedra Pintada cave and at Painel do Pilão, in Monte Alegre, both I and my former student Chris Davis found paint pigment in the oldest layers. So the first thing they did when they arrived in the region was to make these paintings. As Chris described in his PhD thesis, one society set up a solar observatory, which let them know what time of the year it was. This is the oldest known solar observatory on the planet, dating from the beginning of the Paleoindian period 13,000 years ago—the Paleoindians stayed in the region for one or two thousand years.”

Native America is available via, and more clips can be found on YouTube.

Related trivia: Anna Roosevelt has another connection to the history books; she’s the great-granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.

Watch these related videos next:
Ice Age Footprints: Tracking the ancient humans who left footprints in North America
Hopi Origin Story, a PBS Native America Sacred Story
The Comanche and the Horse, a PBS Native America Sacred Story
Golden Kingdoms: Luxury & Legacy in the Ancient Americas
Who carved these mysterious giant drawings in the Peruvian desert?
Who was the first human?

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Wolf to Dog Evolution: How Dogs (Eventually) Became Our Best Friends

Rion Nakaya

Who was the first human?

Rion Nakaya

When Time Became History: The Human Era

Rion Nakaya

Waitomo Glowworm Caves – Life in the Undergrowth

Rion Nakaya

Unmasking the Secrets That Ancient Mummies Hold

Rion Nakaya

Underwater Caves of the Yucatán Peninsula, a Wonders of Life clip

Rion Nakaya

Trogloraptors & How Science Works – Cal Academy

Rion Nakaya

Troglobites: Strange Cave Specialists – Planet Earth

Rion Nakaya

The Terracotta Warriors, China’s world record display

Rion Nakaya