Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cueva De Las Manos, 1

Students of this blog know that we are fans of archaic rock paintings, having visited Lascaux, Pech Merle, Alta Mira, Cueva de la Pileta, the Grotto of Niaux, Chauvet, Font du Gaume, and most recently, Pont D'Arch in the Ardeche. Although the Cave of Hands is much younger than the great European sites, its extensiveness and variety make it of no less interest. C14 datings here suggest habitation from 13,000BC to around 700AD, with the paintings mostly done between 9,000BC and 3,000BC. (The stencils are done by blowing pigment through bone pipes...the bones providing the datable material). I had always thought Cave of Hands was a single wall panel, but it is rather a number of panels spread across several enclosures on the side of the canyon wall. 800 hands, give or take, plus a lot of guanacos, and even a few humans. Jan. 28.
A World Heritage Site, of course

Your walk a few hundred meters, and then you see them


The panels go on and on; here mostly guanacos

Of the 800 hands, only 30 are of right hands

Even where the rocks have tumbled down, there are paintings

The formal tour lasts about an hour, is done in both Spanish
and in English, too; the guides very knowledgeable; there is
also such signage as the above, and a museum in the visitor
center; in English, too

Note hands in green atop

Ambidextrous? One of the few right hands depicted

Thought to be some sort of map

Nursing guanaco

The one actual cave; the rest in overhung enclosures

Note double-jointed wrist

Hunting guanaco best done during full moon

Hard-hat zone

Name that creature

Another right hand

Us, there

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Did the guides explain/conjecture why the preponderance of left hands? Because they were right-handed?