Through a collaboration between Terra Peninsular and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), 10 sites with graphic-rock art manifestations that could be around 3 thousand years old were found in the southern area of Baja California.
The remains are located in different ranches in El Rosario, south of the Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve, one of the state’s natural protected areas, said the exploration team formed by archaeologists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History and staff members of Terra Peninsular.
The identification and recording of these manifestations are part of the project Study of camps on the coastline and intermountain valleys of Baja California, in charge of archaeologist Enah Fonseca. During this work season, both rock paintings and petroglyphs (designs carved in stone) were located.
“This adds to the importance of the area, since we are not only in a region of great biological richness, which is what Terra Peninsular protects, but also of great cultural richness,” said archaeologist Fonseca. She added that the sites are located in areas that are difficult to access and the INAH has been able to visit and register them thanks to the support provided by the ranch owners.
Héctor Sánchez, Management and Habitat Restoration Coordinator of Terra Peninsular commented “We found enormous rock walls with many petroglyphs and paintings depicting the flora and fauna of the area, as well as countless designs. It is very impressive to see the diversity of graphic-rock art manifestations in a habitat that presents extreme climatic conditions”.
Archaeologist Fiorella Fenoglio pointed out the importance of having the support and participation of the communities and the people who live in these places, “In the end it is an inherited knowledge, and it is fundamental to take into account the people who know the environment”.
The team detailed that during the tours they found mainly sites with geometric figures and abstract designs on rocky walls, and even on small stones near temporary streams.
After two seasons of work, the team says that the amount of walls found around El Rosario is surprising, so they do not rule out the possibility that there are also petroglyphs in the Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve.
Regarding the next steps, the team of archaeologists indicated that they will work on a report that will be delivered to INAH and to the owners of the ranches so that they have information about the cultural richness of the sites, and some measures to preserve them. It is also contemplated to make the findings known to the general public through talks or workshops early next year.
To help preserve the cultural heritage, the archaeologists invite the population not to touch nor scrape paintings or petroglyphs and, in case of finding sites with manifestations, to take photographs and notify INAH.