The rock art of the south of Spain
(Cadiz, Malaga, Gibraltar, Andalusia, Spain, Europe)
: Pilar Carrasco
(extract of TO 2 MAGAZINE,
No. 3, 2007)
The caves and shelters of the south of Andalusia (Spain) have one of the biggest treasures of the European cave paintings. The term the experts give as "Southern Art"(Arte Sureño), presents a wide chronology, which covers a great deal of prehistory: Upper Paleolithic (Stone Age: solutrean, magdalenian), Neolithic, Metallurgy, Copper Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
Its statements, painted or engraved on the walls of the rocky cavities are concentrated in the area of the strait: Campo de Gibraltar, La Janda and other nearby areas.
Produced by groups of hunter-collectors, the first statements of cave paintings in the straits have been dated in the period of the upper paleolithic known as solutrean (solutrense).
Its natural art which is represented by engraved and painted pictures in red tones and ocre colours, figures of animals and schematic symbols which we don't really know the meaning of.
The most distinguished statements of this period can be found in the Moro cave (Cueva del Moro) situated in the Tarifa city limits considered to be the most southern sanctuary with most cave art in Europe. There are magníficent equine engraved pictures on its walls and also other figures traced with red pigments.
In agreement to the dating results, it seems that the majority of the southern cave painting art was fulfilled by the end of the Neolithic period and at the very beginning of the metal Age stages. The meaning of the rock art has been subject of various interpretations, and the most accepted hypotesis at present is that we are faced by religious manifestations.
Nowadays a great menace is hovering over the future of this artistic and archaeological treasure; deterioration, the results of natural forces, and even more important danger has been added, the damage caused by human actions.
Guaranteeing the conservation of
this historical artistic rich patrimony is a task for all. The caves and shelters
are declared "Monuments of Cultural Interest"
by the Spanish State but its current protection represents
|We request that the cave art sites of the Spanish provinces of Malaga and Cadiz
be included on the UNESCO World Heritage list of rock art sites in the
"Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula"
( Arte Rupestre del Arco Mediterráneo de la Península Ibérica )
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