Archaeologists working in Burgos, Mexico have discovered 4,926 well preserved cave paintings in 11 different locations near the San Carlos mountain range. The BBC reports that this new discovery proves that hunter-gatherer groups lived in an area of Mexico believed to be uninhabited by early man.
The nearly 5,000 cave paintings use bright red and yellow coloring, and depict abstract scenes as well as images of humans and animals interacting.
Independent.co.uk is reporting that one cave housed over 1,500 paintings. In one of the images an atlatl was depicted. This was an ancient Hispanic weapon used for hunting. Independent says that images of an atlatl have never before been seen in this region.
An archaeologist from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology told reporters, "The discovery is important because we have documented the presence of pre-Hispanic groups in Burgos, where before it was said there was nothing."
Another archaeologist, Martha Garcia Sanchez, added to the statement by mentioning that there is little know about the ethnic groups who inhabited the caves. Hopefully this new discovery will help archaeologists learn more about pre-Colombian and pre-Hispanic history in South America.
Sanchez closed by saying, "These groups escaped Spanish rule for 200 years because they fled to the Sierra de San Carlos where they had water, plants, and animals to feed themselves."
The archaeologists presented their discovery at the Museum of Natural History in Mexico during an Historic Archeology meeting.