Olmec Cave Paintings: Discovery from Guerrero, Mexico

Science  25 Apr 1969:
Vol. 164, Issue 3878, pp. 421-423
DOI: 10.1126/science.164.3878.421


A cave in Guerrero, Mexico, investigated in 1968, contained previously unreported Olmec paintings. These paintings, some of the oldest known in Mesoamerica, are stylistically similar to Olmec art from the site of LaVenta, on Mexico's Gulf Coast, but contain several important glyphic motifs never previously known to have existed at this time level. The iconography of the paintings confirms several important hypotheses concerning basic concepts of Olmec religion; the cave itself was probably a shrine to water and fertility. Several pre-Hispanic textile fragments found in the cave are probably from a later culture period.