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Club recreates prehistoric cave art

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Lamba Alpha Anthropology Honor Society president Billie Guererro and her fellow club members have created a replica of the prehistoric artwork in Argentina’s Cueva de los Manos in the Hoover Building. A recent study suggests that the cave art dates back 65,000 years ago. Guerrero said she got the idea for the project after working at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont. / photo by Cortney Mace

Lamba Alpha Anthropology Honor Society president Billie Guererro and her fellow club members have created a replica of the prehistoric artwork in Argentina’s Cueva de los Manos in the Hoover Building. A recent study suggests that the cave art dates back 65,000 years ago. Guerrero said she got the idea for the project after working at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont. / photo by Cortney Mace

Paulina Wartman
Staff Writer

University of La Verne’s Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society has created a replica exhibit of Cueva de los Manos, a world cultural site in Argentina, in the Hoover building.

Cueva de los Manos, or “cave of the hands,” gets its name from the prehistoric stenciled human hands found throughout the cave.

There are also depictions of animals.

“We constructed famous cave art from all over the world, including Spain, Argentina, France, and Mexico,” senior anthropology major and Lambda Alpha president Billie Guerrero said.

The exhibit features hand prints in a dark soil-like color on paper covering the walls along the hallway.

Small written descriptions across the display explain the history of the cave and the prehistoric artwork.

“It’s really cool to see in person the resemblance of the Cueva de los Manos,” Lisa DeLance, adjunct professor of anthropology, said.

“Being able to stand in front of the early petroglyphs makes you feel a connection to the past.”

The cave art in Cueva de los Manos is generally thought to have been created 9,000 to 13,000 years ago.

However, the club also included a recent study in the exhibit which suggests that the artwork may date back to 65,000 years ago.

This is roughly 20,000 years before anatomically modern humans, or homo sapiens, migrated out of Africa into Europe and Asia.

This implies that the cave art was painted by a species of archaic humans known as homo neanderthalensis.

“The Cueva de los Manos was one of my favorites,” junior anthropology major Miriam Rangel, Lambda Alpha secretary, said.

“It really shows our ancestors’ artistic side, even with its simplicity.”

For more information, contact Guerrero at amanda.guerrero@laverne.edu.

Paulina Wartman can be contacted at paulina.wartman@laverne.edu.

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