Cave painting found in Yucatan frames the legacy of prehistoric Maya

Small hands in positive and negative, a glyph like a kind of upside down letter E and silhouettes that take on strange shapes are part of the mosaic of a cave painting found in one of the three cenotes of Hacienda Kampepén, in Homún, a municipality in the state of Yucatán.

(López Dóriga).- Every day national and international tourists come to visit the place captivated by the drawings that the prehistoric Mayas painted on the walls.

About five years ago personnel from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) came to verify the paintings, went in to explore the cave and confirmed that the paintings are very, very old,” Gabriela Chin Chan, a tour guide at the cenote, which will be standing for two centuries next year, told EFE.

To reach the Kixné cenote, visitors walk more than half a kilometer, “but it’s worth it because inside there is a priceless treasure that we rarely have the opportunity to see,” Araceli Alcántara, a teacher from the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, told EFE.

For visitors, the cave painting was a plus, “we only came to swim in the cenotes of this hacienda and never imagined this Mayan treasure”.

For Verónica Torres Rivas, general director of the site, the paintings and footprints are beautiful because of their shape and color, “but we still don’t know their real meaning”.

The imprints are perfectly visible on a central wall of the semi-enclosed cenote Kixné of Hacienda Kampepén, “but there are more than 100 drawn among the rocks surrounding the cave, it is as if they framed the legacy of the prehistoric Maya”.

Some paintings are very hidden among the double wall of rocks and others have been covered by a blue-green mold and roots, others acquire strange forms with the eroded stone.

Footprints in the Yucatan Peninsula

Archaeologist Sergio Grosjean Abimerhi, director of the Grosjean Expedition, and his work team have discovered in the municipality of Homún and other parts of Yucatán and Quintana Roo caves with cave paintings found several meters below the ground, the most recent was in 2018.

The painting is on a rock approximately 15 meters long and five meters high.

“Those imprints are among the most important that have been discovered to date in the Yucatan Peninsula, because they have birds, mammals, a cross, geometric figures, human forms, such as that of a warrior, and hands in negative and positive,” he told EFE.

In the communities of Káua and Akil, INAH personnel have verified petroglyphs that are difficult to decipher, as well as in other sites in southeastern Mexico.

In the caves of Huachabí, located near the archaeological zone of Miramar, in the municipality of Hopelchén, Campeche, a stone wall with more than a kilometer of extension with imprints of strange and beautiful figures was discovered in 2018.

In addition, ceramics belonging to the Early Classic (200-600 A.D.), Late and Terminal Classic (600-1050 A.D.) and Postclassic (1050-1521 A.D.) periods were found there.

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