Posted by: Anni Orekh | December 13, 2010

Las Cuevas del Pomier, San Cristobal

Some archeologists consider that the caves of El Pomier, near Santo Domingo, just outside San Cristobal, are to the West Indies what the pyramids are to Egypt.

In Reserva Antropológica El Pomier (15 kilometers north of San Cristóbal, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) there is a series of 57 interconnecting caves, the most significant collection of rupestrian art found in the Caribbean. The drawings and carvings (the latter are found only in the front of the cave where the sunlight is) in this anthropological reserve are from not just the Taíno Indians, but the Igneri and Carib as well, and are estimated at as much as 2,000 years old. For the Caribbean, this is tantamount to what the pyramids of Egypt are for the Middle East.

The caves contain over 4,000 paintings and 5,000 rock drawings. Cave One contains 590 pictograms alone. Most of the paintings depict animals and birds with some that are believed to be representative of deities.

Some 57 caves dot the landscape here and contain thousands of pictographs (pictures or symbols representing words) and hundreds of petroglyphs (drawings or etchings on rock). Most of the drawings tell a story and feature humans, animals, and strange monsters, perhaps gods. Though they haven’t all been dated, the pictographs and petroglyphs here are thought to be the work of the Taino Indians, who lived here over 1000 years ago. Now protected and fitted out for easy visitor access by the Dominican government, these caves are thought to be a sacred site for the Tainos, where they used to celebrate their ceremonies and rites of passage.

The best way to get to the caves is by taxi or motoconcho, but make sure the driver knows that you need a ride back so that they either wait for you or come back. If you decide to drive, follow Avenida Constitución (in front of the cathedral) all the way out of town. It will lead you past the Casa de Caoba. Keep going until you see a sign to turn left to the cuevas (before the La Toma turnoff) at the fork in the road.

Photos de las Cuevas

Article  Las cuevas

Education and Guides to the caves

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