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This notable mark of Palaeolithic art – from between 15,000 and 25,000 years ago – in Extremadura is in the heart of the urban area. It has some thirty groups of motifs that represent seventy human hands in negative (stencilled), surrounded by reddish pigments. Throughout its 130 m length there appear painted hands and black points or strokes and other motifs engraved with a burin.Recent technological studies have shown the existence of numerous engraved representations of animal figures that were previously unknown.An explosion to extract minerals from the limestone quarry in 1951 revealed the cave entrance. Five years later the local historian Carlos Callejo discovered the paintings.The delicate state of conservation of the paintings means that the Cave of Maltravieso is not open to the public. However, Caceres City Council and the Department of Culture of the Regional Government of Extremadura opened a Centre of Interpretation in 1999, where you can find out about the rich heritage of the site. In the centre, visitors can learn about the cave and its artistic manifestations, its history and its discoverers and researchers through models and a video projection and even submerge themselves in the dark environment of a cavity, like those in which our Palaeolithic ancestors lived. It has a very entertaining concept and is educationally designed to be understandable for children and school groups who visit it.


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