Monday, April 14, 2008

Exploring Caves

Friday our whole group went on an excursion to see some caves! The first one was called the Cueva del Castillo (Caves of Castillo), we couldn´t take photos inside, but they were pretty cool. Much more intricate than the hollowed out lava tubes I´ve been too in Oregon. There were also some original cave paintings on the wall, some bison and hands had been painted. Amazing to think that people lived in caves. Not going to lie, some of what the historians and culture analysis people have come up with are a little strange. Saying that the cave people drew things for "this reason" or whatever, they have no idea, it´s all just guesses. But they don´t ever phrase it like´s more of a "they drew the bison along this crack in the rock because it helps form the line of the back bone of the bison..." they have no idea if they chose that area of rock for a reason, for all they know the rock cracked After the picture was painted. Oh well.

Then we proceeded onto the Altamira Caves...well kind of. We went to a museum that had replicas...not the real thing (aparently they are too delicate for us to visit). First we went to this little lesson on how the cave people back then made fire and spears, which was interesting. The guide took a specific type of rock which they use for spear heads and knives and he broke off a sharp piece and then cut some girls hair to show how sharp it was (she volunteered of course). Then we got to throw a spear! They had these huge painted deer and bison at various distances and we got 2 chances to throw our spears at them, my first one barely went anywhere, but my second one would have hit the deer had i been aiming better (forgot to aim because I was so focused on getting it to go far).

Then we went in for a tour of the replica caves, which were basically a joke. It wasn´t in a real cave, just a man made one, with nice ramps and nice little video tour things as you went. The first little narrative was this video. It shows a family of cave dwellers, the dad is sitting around his fire sharpening a knife or something, and the mom and child come in (aparently they have been gathering shells) and they are all just one big happy family talking spanish and behaving perfectly...a little hard to believe...first who knows if they were speaking spanish, and secondly whose to say they had the same mannorisms as we do today?? It was hard not to laugh. Then we walked and saw the replica cave paintings, which if they had been real would have been really cool...but its hard to be impressed when you know someone just repainted the old ones. It really is too bad that we could not see the originals!

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