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domingo 17 octubre 2021

Bertan > Bertan 15 Los orígenes del arte en Gipuzkoa > Versión en inglés: Cave art in Gipuzkoa. The deep sanctuaries

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Cave art in Gipuzkoa. The deep sanctuaries

The existence of several important caves with early stone age art in the provinces adjoining Gipuzkoa, such as Bizkaia, Navarra and Zuberoa has been known of for some time. In Gipuzkoa, however, the first example was not found until the early 1960s.

The twenty-eighth of October 1962 therefore marks an important date for prehistorical research in the province. On that day, three students from San Sebastián - F. Aranzadi, J. Migliaccio and J. C. Vicuña – all members of the Aranzadi Science Society, discovered the first figures of cave art in Gipuzkoa, in the cave at Altxerri (Aia), just a stone’s throw from the centre of the town of Orio. And so Gipuzkoa joined the ranks of Basque provinces with example of this singular heritage.

Seven years later, on 8 June 1969, two young men from Azpeitia, A. Albizuri and R. Rezabal, from the Antxieta arts group who had come to carry out archaeological surveys in the area, under the guidance of the Aranzadi Science Society, discovered a magnificent set of cave paintings at Ekain (Deba), very near the town of Zestoa.

Gipuzkoa now had a magnificent collection of palaeolithic artistic heritage and these caves joined the lists of the great parietal art of Western Europe.

For many reasons, the caves of Altxerri and Ekain are quite different. The rock is very distinct; fragile in Altxerri and compact in Ekain. In Altxerri, carvings predominate; whereas in Ekain there are more paintings. Altxerri contains more depictions of bison, while Ekain has more horses. In Altxerri there are multiple superimposed figures while in Ekain they are kept separate. In Ekain only six species are shown, while in Altxerri there are over a dozen. Some figures in Altxerri have an expressionist character, which is not to be seen in Ekain. Altxerri appears to date from rather later than Ekain.

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