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Early settlers and Levantine rock art

The Levantine Rock Art in Aragon (between 6000 and 2500 B.C.) is a unique cultural manifestation that corresponds to a society of hunter-gatherersand later farmersThe main mountain ranges and landscapes of this Autonomous Community were inhabited between the end of the Epipaleolithic and the beginning of the Metal Age.

The human being’s journey through the lands of Maestrazgo was marked, in its beginnings, by the search for protection and food. The large rock shelters in valleys such as the Guadalope protected from inclement weather. The surrounding territory provided an abundance of game and the possibility of gathering wild fruits.

The Alto Guadalope and Maestrazgo core consists of the following sites: Abrigo de la Vacada, Arenal de La Fonseca, Abrigo del Arquero, Torico del Pudial and Friso Abierto del Pudial in Castellote all of them, and El Cantalar in Villarluengo. Of this group we must point out the bovid of the Torico del Pudial in Castellote for its spectacular nature and state of preservation.

The representations of this type of rock art are of a naturalistic and figurative nature, with two main themes: figures of hunting animals and more or less geometric representations of a symbolic or abstract nature.The human figure takes on a prominence it had not had in previous times. This is why most of these paintings depict dances, food gathering, hunting, fighting, livestock or proto-livestock scenes…

The size of the figures is not very large, 10 to 12 cm on average, although there are some exceptions. The representations of animals, especially those that appear in isolation, are usually larger, such as the Torico del Pudial, in Ladruñán, which measures approximately 40 cm.

The most commonly used colors were red, black and white, the first being by far the most used. This was obtained by transforming iron oxide into powder and mixing it with a liquid, generally water or grease, to obtain the paint.

It is believed that the Levantine artist’s basic instrument would have been the bird feather, although it has also been suggested that he may have used “brushes” made from branches, crushing the ends to create a fibrous surface, similar to the bristles of a paintbrush.

Maestrazgo Sites

La Vacada Shelter.This group contains at least 72 figures, with a central scene of a herd of bovids and also about fifteen archers, 4 goats, 2 deer, an ass, an equine, a possible feline and a woman.

Archer’s Coat. Ladruñán. This coat, very smoked for having served as a shelter where fire was lit, preserves eight figures that in the main scene contain a woman with a short skirt below the knees and an archer, also a woman in a bent posture and other figures such as a goat, traces of a wounded animal and an archer.

Torico del Pudial shelter. Ladruñán. This coat has only a bull in profile to the left in a purplish-red spot color.

Open frieze of the Pudial. Ladruñán. Located about 100 meters from the Arquero shelter, it contains 5 pumpkin-colored ochre figures, an incomplete goat and 4 men.

Arenal de La Fonseca shelter. Ladruñán. Once known as the Cueva del Ángel, it is an important collection of Levantine engravings, in which the naturalistic paintings are very deteriorated.

Cantalar shelter. Villarluengo.It emphasizes the scene of hunting of a precious naturalistic deer on the part of a Levantine archer, as well as two great representations of bovids, as well as the badly conserved figure of a possible archer of great proportions.