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A Journey Into Paradise

Ancient Cave Paintings & New Archaeological Sites of Mexico

14 June, 2013

Mexico is a land that is absolutely brimming with mystery,ancient history and natural wonders. For centuries,adventurers have explored the thick tropical jungles,steep mountains and desert regions found throughout Mexico,hoping to unearth some long-lost treasure of a bygone civilization... And every once in a while,they get lucky.

“Archaeologists in Mexico have found 4,926 well-preserved cave paintings in the northeastern region of Burgos,” writes the BBC in an article published this spring. “The paintings suggest that at least three groups of hunter-gatherers dwelled in the San Carlos mountain range.”

Found in 11 different locations throughout the mountain range,which lies in Mexico’s state of Tamaulipas in an area that was previously not believed to be inhabited by the ancients,the paintings have not yet been dated but experts are hoping that an in-depth analysis of the paint will eventually determine their approximate age. The images are done in red,yellow,black and white,depicting humans,animals and insects,along with a variety of other natural and abstract scenes.

“These groups escaped the Spanish rule for 200 years because they fled to the Sierra de San Carlos where they had water,plants and animals to feed themselves,” stated Martha Garcia Sanchez,an archaeologist involved in the study. “Very little is known about the cultures who dwelled in Tamaulipas.”

One cave provides a particularly impressive example,with more than 1,500 scenes depicted on its walls,but experts have yet to find any ancient objects linked to the paintings’ subject matter,since most of them are found on ravine walls and the ground below is washed away each year during the rainy season. However,researchers did find recognizable depictions of an atlatl,which was a common pre-Hispanic hunting weapon that had not yet been found in the Tamaulipas region of Mexico.

This spring,researchers in Mexico have also announced the discovery of eight new archaeological sites of the native Cucapa culture in the northern Colorado Desert. The sites are all temporary camps that date back between 400 and 7,000 years and were found in the mountains of Sierra del Mayor near the U.S.-Mexico border. Archaeologists discovered countless animal bones,including several from species that are now extinct,as well as a variety of pottery and other stone items. The discoveries were made with the help of indigenous Cucapa people,who have been living in the region for more than 2,000 years.

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