Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Wall paintings in Magura Cave

Cave paintings created by primitive people are found on every continent. The oldest ones were made about 35,000 years ago. Cave paintings in Europe and Africa often show images of hunting and daily activities.

Magura Cave is situated in the western part of the Balkan Mountains (Stara Planina), a range which spans northwestern to central Bulgaria, the Thracian plain lying to the south-east of the range, and the plain in turn fringed by the Rhodope Mountain range at its western edge.
Magura Cave containing prehistoric paintings, is a famous tourist site. The first information about the cave appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in the publications of Mikov (1927) and Filkov (1936/7). The first systematic archaeological explorations in the cave were undertaken in 1961 in the entrance (“Triumphant”) hall, at around 20 m from the main entrance.

The Magura cave contains impressive prehistoric paintings, displaying both figurative and abstract compositions. The paintings depict the silhouettes of women, men dancing and hunting, people wearing masks, animals, stars, tools, and plants. An excess of 700 paintings has been discovered in the large cave, depicting people dancing and hunting as well as a wide range of animals.

Religious ceremonies, hunting scenes, signs, and graphic motifs decorate one of the cave chambers—the Gallery with the paintings. The paintings date from different eras – the early Paleolithic, the Neolithic, the later Neolithic, and the beginning of the Bronze Age.

These artworks, dating back to some 5500 years ago, are made of fossilized guano of cave-dwelling bats applied over limestone.
Wall paintings in Magura Cave

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