Rock Art in Los Velez

figura_losvelez_intThe region of Los Vélez is located north of the province of Almeria, at the crossroads of the lands of the South and Spanish Levante. The rock art has been declared Velez-the 5 December 1998- World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula. It is located in the municipalities of Maria and Velez Blanco. Velez are formed as a peripheral area in the location of Levantine art, as part of its southern border.

Cave paintings belonging to the artistic horizon Paleolithic have been discovered in the area in recent times, but the distribution of Levantine Art in Los Vélez has not been increased as new findings from the already remote 1915 when Breuil and Motorcycles conducted inventory coats of this art in the region. The schematic painting, meanwhile, if present in a large number of demonstrations in the area.

Shelters and caves with rock art sites


Shelter or Cave of the signs (the locals was given this name by the presence of the strange paintings), located in the town of Velez Blanco, in the foothills of the Sierra de Maimon Grande deserves special attention for the quality and significance of his paintings. They were released in 1868 by Antonio Gongora Almeria Martinez in his book "Antiquities archaeological Andalusia". Its great value was recognized from studies by Breuil, Motorcycles and Cabré in the early twentieth century and in 1924 the shelter was declared a National Historic Landmark.

Located in a rural area, it is about 25 meters wide, 10 high and 6 deep. Its size and physical characteristics make suppose that was not a place of permanent habitation and can say that was an exhibition dedicated to various religious ceremonies related to the cult of animals. It is logical to think of the sacredness of this place if we consider the care with which the paintings are made.

The representations of the Cave of the signs go from naturalism to esquematismo and in them the predominant color is red. Archers, wizards and idols are among the human figures that appear in the special personality coat. The Cave of the signs comes the "Indalo" figure antropomófrica has become the symbol par excellence almeriense. Meanwhile, represented animals are deer and mountain goats that while the main food of those primitive velezanos be constituted as the main species of wildlife in the area.

Both human figures such as animals are small but have a great expressiveness and sense of movement. Schematic representations are established as true ideograms whose meaning, probably linked to ritual expressions, escape on numerous occasions and may incur understanding the origin of an ideographic alphabet.

Chronologically, the cave paintings of the Cave of the signs would be placed in the Neolithic period, between the VI and the V millennium BC, so they would have an approximate age of 7500 years. Mentioning this admirable figure check the durability of these representations have endured the relentless passage of charged geological, atmospheric phenomena and historical time. The diffusion of this artistic treasure among those who wish to study these paintings or just contemplate for your enjoyment must go hand in an effort to conserve this artistic treasure of paramount importance to understand the history, art and mentality of human beings ago thousands of years.


More information::
Initiatives Leader "Comarca de los Velez"
c / large Acequia, 18-04820-Velez-Rubio Almeria (Spain)
Tel./Fax: +34 950 41 25 27