According to the official website of this archaeological jewel, Cueva de las Manos is located in Area Alto Rio Pinturas, in the northwest of the Province of Santa Cruz . More specifically in the Cañadón of that river, between the towns of Perito Moreno and Bajo Caracoles.
Experts say that above the Pinturas River Valley there are about eighty archaeological sites . However, none has the historical value of this prehistoric cave with brushstrokes of yesteryear.
Rock art and its importance worldwide
Through the paintings that were there remain intact, it was possible to understand what was the way of life and social practices of the members of the Tehuelche race and its predecessors.
Petroglyphs , which are nothing less than geometric engravings , allowed to know the relationship between their activities and knowledge. Wondering what is in this great mystical tunnel you can visit? The answer is all kinds of engravings! Dots, strokes and circles; but there are also human traces, traces of various types of animals and hints of these predecessors who left their stamp written on the stones.
The drawings of the Cueva de las Manos in Santa Cruz reveal groups of men in the middle of the hunt, guanacos, rheas and pumas. In addition, there are also concentric circles, geometric figures and designs that are believed to be stars like the moon.
The most striking and notorious thing about the cave are the prehistoric painted hands that are grouped together . Side by side, down and up, in white, black and reddish tones on a surprising stone wall that exhibits the Pinturas River .
Its patrimonial value and importance worldwide
According to the official website of attractiveness, UNESCO highlighted the importance of Cueva de las Manos as a “pictorial ensemble unique in the world” for its antiquity and continuity over time. The beauty and conservation status of the paintings, the magnificence of the sets of negative hands and hunting scenes and the setting surrounding the site, were described as an “exciting beauty” that deserved “to be part of the cultural value of the site itself same” ( COMOS , Paris 1999).
There is still no complete evidence about what happened here so many years ago; but the truth is that it is an area of high world preeminence. There are only two more around the planet that are similar to our Cueva de las Manos: the Chauvet Caves in France and the Altamira Caves in Spain.
Other interesting facts about La Cueva de las Manos
- The visit to the Cueva de las Manos can be done from the city of Perito Moreno, traveling 176 kilometers along the RN40. The last 45 kilometers are gravel.
- It is located on the Pinturas River at about 88 meters high. It is about 20 meters deep, 10 meters high and 15 in width.
- They were discovered in 1964 by the surveyor, later archaeologist, Carlos J. Gradin, who began the first explorations in the area. Then in 1973, scientific research began, together with C. A. Aschero and A. M. Aguerre, under the auspices of CONICET.
- Visits can be visited every day of the year using only guided tours. The maximum quota is 20 people per departure.
Madrynense y argentina. Lic. en RRPP (UP), especializada en Comunicación e Identidad Corporativa (UNIR) y docente universitaria. Apasionada por la comunicación en todas sus expresiones, porque como dice Paul Watzlawick “Todo Comunica”… las palabras, las reacciones y nuestro cuerpo. Mi desafío profesional es cuidar de “ese todo”, aportando mis conocimientos y gestionando las herramientas necesarias para que las comunicaciones fluyan como las olas del mar.