Photo: INAH: Mexico Cave Paintings
Anthropologists from Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) have announced the discovery of nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Sierra de San Carlos in the town of Burgos in the state of Tamaulipas.
The cave paintings are thought to have been made by Pre-Hispanic hunter-gatherer groups that roamed the region. The paintings were located in 11 different sites in Burgos, which sits 100 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The paintings tell the story of nomadic life dominated by hunting , fishing and gathering. The drawings contain symbols representing religious activity tied to astronomical occurrences. Researchers noted that the paintings show the local flora and fauna including images of deer and lizards.
One of the images discovered is the ancient atlatl weapon. This type of weapon was developed in the Upper Paleolithic period, about 20,000 years ago.
PHOTO: Mexico INAH
The images are in red, yellow, black and white pigment and have anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, astronomical and abstract characteristics, according to Gustavo Ramirez from INAH.
The cultural components of the cave will be studied across the 11 different sites in Burgos. INAH has been studying and cataloging this incredible find over the last two years.
Pigment samples are being studied to help determine the date of the paintings. Prior to the discovery of the cave paintings there were no records of an ancient society occupying the region. Experts believe Neanderthals that roamed the earth 40,000 years ago were the first cave painters.
The discovery will help Mexican anthropologists learn more about the earliest civilizations that occupied the country.