|From Neves et al. (2012)|
Wow! This one definitely required all the despatch and prompt publishing that PLoSone offers! Just one thing. They published it so promptly they didn't have time to look at the so-called work of art. If this is a petroglyph I'll eat something unpleasant. They're calling it anthropomorphic! The only anthropomorphizing that's revealed here is in the (vivid) imagination of the excavator.
This 'figure' is on the bedrock in a limestone rockshelter in Brazil. Superposed sediments have been dated to plus or minus 11 kya. It's described as a human figure, male, with an oversized phallus. Poppycock! Horse-hockey! Oldest art in the Americas? Hardly.
Let's see... Limestone is predominantly calcium carbonate, which dissolves, even in the presence of only mildly acidic water--that's how caves and sinkholes form. Let's see... What natural process could possibly have produced what appears like a connected series of peck marks? Wait, wait, I know this one... Water? Too right. Acidic water. Dripping from the roof of the rockshelter. Or carried along as part of a root system as the sediment gradually accumulated over the years. Or... well, you get the point.
This is not a petroglyph. And PLoSone doesn't have a referee worth the intrinsic value of this laughable claim.
Give me a break.