Cave paintings in the Cueva de las Orcas

Cave paintings in the Cueva de las Orcas
Cave paintings in the Cueva de las Orcas
Anonim

In the town of Zahara de los Atunes, in the Spanish province of Cádiz, you can see some cave paintings that speak to us not only about the history of this coastal town on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. But also the prehistoric paintings of the Cueva de las Orcas tell us about the present of the population, its traditions and its natural we alth.

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Cueva de las Orcas, exterior

Yes, and all this with some paintings made partially in times of the Paleolithic (there are other later cave paintings, from the Neolithic and Levantine style). However, the oldest ones are the ones that tell us about the great fishing richness of Zahara de los Atunes, by whose toponym one can already imagine that this species is fished a lot here, specifically the bluefin tuna that are caught at the end of winter and early spring using the traditional trap technique.

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Orca Cave Painting

These animals, the tuna, are represented here, and are recognizable thanks to their characteristic forked tail. But it is not the only great fish that is painted in the cavity, which is also known as Cueva de Atlanterra. Also on its walls are references to killer whales, the large cetacean that also comes to this area of ​​the Strait of Gibr altar to capture the same tuna.And in the case of killer whales, the representation is made in a very schematic way, since it is a large open V, with which the back of this animal is reminiscent, in which there is always a huge white V behind its dorsal fin.

And it is necessary to take into account that from this small cave of easy access and small size, which does not reach two square meters of surface, there is a magnificent view over the ideal place to see the point where they accumulate hundreds of tuna, and at the same time contemplate the arrival of the killer whales. And not only that, but given its orientation towards the west, it was a good place to predict the exact moment when the desired tuna would arrive in the area.

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Cleft in Orcas Cave

You can see painted a kind of zodiacal signs that would refer to the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and through a slit made in the same rock, through the entrance of the sun's rays into the Inside the small cave, the moment of maximum influx of tuna was indicated, and the consequent arrival of the killer whales that move, even today, from cold Norway to the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, the Cueva de las Orcas can be understood as a peculiar prehistoric sanctuary. And as we said at the beginning, despite their antiquity, they make us understand much better this landscape and some traditions that still survive.

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