DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Prehistory:  PICTOGRAPHS  

 

The tern "Pictograph" is used, as distinct from petroglyph, to refer to prehistoric art which was done with paint.  Although in many situations, these have not proved as permanent as when the rock is actually engraved, examples remain. Oddly, the best known cases are from the south.

 

 
We will start, however, with an example from near Huaraz, Peru, which has faintly survived, with a mixture of motifs.  Click to see big picture (570x480 pixels; 132 KB)
As with petroglyphs, one of the most common subjects are the cameloids, which undoubtedly provided much of the meat for indigenous populations. Click to see big picture (335x480 pixels; 92 KB)
Likely the most famous pictographic site in the southern cone is the Cave of Hands (Cueva de las Manos) in southern Argentina.  These are thought to have been made by putting hands against the rock and spraying paint with some sort of blow-pipe.  Now a World Heritage site. Click to see big picture (640x434 pixels; 116 KB)
Here and there among the human hands there are three-toed impressions, perhaps the feet of the ostrich-like ñandu. Click to see big picture (640x439 pixels; 125 KB)
And amid the hands, there are the more typical motifs of figures, cameloids and geometric designs. Click to see big picture (640x415 pixels; 105 KB)
Perhaps someone was recalling a nightmare in this case. Click to see big picture (640x470 pixels; 127 KB)
A densely populated sector of the Cave of Hands artwork, with black, white and red paints.  Some of the hunting scenes are thought to be as much as 10,000 years old. Click to see big picture (640x396 pixels; 96 KB)
Far less known and smaller, there is also a Cave of Hands in southern Chile, here is one scene. Click to see big picture (595x480 pixels; 153 KB)