Petroglyphs Around the World are Disappearing


President of the speleological Committee in the province of Pinar del Río, western Cuba, Hilario Carmenate explains that a large portion of the rock paintings around the world will disappear within 15-20 years.

His thoughts are that “multiple illustrations discovered during the 1980’s are already almost indistinguishable“. According to TASS, the problem is quite eminent throughout the world and experts believe the reason is climate change.

Carmenate makes a worrisome prognosis: „Within two decades it’s quite possible that we won’t be able to see any of them. There is a tendency around the world to not make any restorations to such cultural treasures, so the only way we can preserve these illustrations is to photograph and store them in archives”.

Hilario is certain that time is running out, so he has decided to take action rather than sit and wait. He has discovered several new petroglyphs in the Guaniguanico Mountain range of western Cuba. According to him, there are 41 places in Pinar del Río with cave paintings that are between 1500-7000 years old.

The latest research has determined that where there were once clear traces of petroglyphs, now barely anything is visible. According to Carmenate such disappearances are occurring not only in Cuba but all around the world.

The most important thing that should be done now is to attempt to find new ancient settlements where such petroglyphs exist and try to preserve them for future generations before they are lost forever. Still, Hilario is optimistic that some kind of technology will appear and aid in the restoration of lost illustrations. The expert is certain that there are still hundreds of unexplored caves in western Cuba which hide incredible secrets.

Hilario Carmenate has dedicated his entire life to the study of speleology. For half a century he has participated in hundreds of archeological expeditions researching the Pre-Columbian Era, the period of slavery, and the war for independence.

And in recent years, the speleologist has turned his full attention to finding new petroglyphs.