Caribbean Cave Art Illuminates Encounters with Europeans*
By Megan Gannon
Indigenous carvings found in caves on Mona Island were made by people dragging their fingers or tools across the surfaces of the soft limestone caves
Puerto Rico’s Mona Island is famous for its vast network of caves. In these dark underground chambers, archaeologists have discovered engravings by indigenous people and early European colonizers alike.
These cave markings may offer a rare glimpse at individual, perhaps even spiritual, first encounters that took place in the Caribbean nearly 500 years ago between indigenous and European people, according to a new study.
Led by Jago Cooper, of the British Museum in London, and Alice Samson, of the University of Leicester, a group of researchers spent years documenting the subterranean artwork at Mona Island —which is about halfway between the main island of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The small island has been occupied by…
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