The Cueva de la Vieja is one of the most important rock art stations in the eastern sector of the peninsula. It is a shelter of remarkable dimensions in which painted motifs representative of two prehistoric arts are preserved: Levantine Art and Schematic Art.
It was discovered in 1910 by Pascual Serrano and made known a few years later by the researchers Henri Breuil, Juan Cabré and the discoverer himself, publishing the first studies in a prestigious French journal and thus achieving a notorious international diffusion.
The recognition of its value as a prehistoric document was ratified in 1924 when it was declared a Historic and Artistic Monument. Subsequently, it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985 and included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
As for the Levantine Art, it must be said that it is vestige of material culture and of the last hunter-gatherers who populated the alpine mountain ranges between 10000 and 6000 BC.
This plastic expression, exclusively pictorial, figurative, monochrome, conserves – in what has been popularly described as “a luxury cave” – more than 170 painted motifs in a notorious diversity of sizes and options: 33 archers, the true protagonists of this cave, appearing both isolated and related to animals composing hunting scenes, 13 human figures as well as bows, arrows, etc.
The painted fauna includes 15 deer, 10 goats, 5 bulls, 1 horse, 6 carnivores and several quadrupeds of an unspecified species. In the central part, a couple of women dressed with a garment that reaches the knees and ornaments in the arms that are related scenically are conserved.
All the motifs are red, made with mineral pigments and painted with tools that produced very fine lines.
The other pictorial manifestation is the Schematic Art. The motifs, a total of 37, are abstract (colored stains), geometric (vertical lines, zigzags…) and schematic (anthropomorphic and zoomorphic). This type of art is the creative expression of Neolithic producer groups whose chronology is between 6500 and 3200 B.C. They are all red in color and the pigments used are of mineral origin. The instrument used by the artist is more varied and the use of the fingertips and vegetal branches stands out.
The Cueva de la Vieja was the place chosen by prehistoric groups, probably for millennia, to carry out a series of rituals among which is the pictorial action itself; all of which are part of the world of beliefs. It is an authentic sanctuary in which human action and the natural environment form a particular symbiosis.
Individual and group guided tours by APPOINTMENT
Appointment: Monday to Friday mornings
6 km from the town, in Cerro del Bosque.
Up to Cueva de la Vieja:
At Cueva de la Vieja: