The artistic sequence, which includes three main stylistic groups, began as early as the 10th millennium BP [Before Present]. The sequence is a long one: archaeological investigations have shown that the site was last inhabited around AD 700 by the possible ancestors of the first Tehuelche people of Patagonia found by European settlers in the 19th century. It bears witness to the culture of the earliest human societies in South America.
The Cueva is considered by the international scientific community to be one of the most important sites of these earliest hunter-gatherer communities during Early Holocene that still maintains a good state of preservation and has a singular environment formation, unique at Santa Cruz province. Protected from both rain and direct sunlight, these hands, which seem to be waving across nearly a hundred centuries of time, are amazingly vivid, the religio-magic legacy of a long-vanished people.
The rock art, its natural environment and the archaeological sites on this region are some of the very important reasons that made this area a focus for archaeological research. They made an impact on the observer due not only the deep gorge walls surrounded by a privileged landscape, but also by the artistic compositions, variety of motifs and its polychromies. The habitat surrounding the archaeological site remains intact and has the same animal species depicted through cave art approximately 10,000 years ago. This also applies to plant species. These scenes represent a unique evidence to know about the first Patagonian hunters’ behaviour and their hunting techniques.
Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas is unique in the world, for its age and continuity throughout time, the beauty and the preservation conditions of the paintings, the magnificence of the collection of stencilled outlines of human hands and the hunting scenes, as well as the environment that surrounds the place of exciting beauty and for being part of the cultural value of the site itself.
Aerolines Argentinas – One way for you to get to Rio Pinturas.