Experts to Re-Explore Cuban Archeological Sites

Experts to Re-Explore Cuban Archeological SitesPinar del Rio, Jan 17. -Cuban scientists will assess the state of preservation of archeological sites in this western province, where evidence exists of the presence of indigenous communities 4,500 years ago.

Marta Rosa Gonzalez told Prensa Latina that the upcoming research will aim at updating the inventory of those findings and searching for possible risks or vulnerability.

The exploration, which might take more than a year, will include the areas of Sierra de los Organos and the Guanahacabibes peninsula, one of the last refuges of Cuban indigenous people, said the expert, who works for the Research and Environmental Services Center, ECOVIDA.

Pinar del Rio, some 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Havana, holds hundreds of archeological sites, most linked to the culture of the Guanahatabey people, a word that means rough man in the Arawakan language.

The Guanahatabey were hunters, fishers and gatherers, and lived in caves and other natural environments in the region.

Recent research showed that the pictographs and petroglyphs made by those primitive societies might be endangered by natural phenomena and human activity.

In Guanahacabibes alone, on Cuba's westernmost tip, experts have found some 135 archeological sites, some of which have been damaged or altered by hurricanes.

Caves hold rustic work instruments and fragments of human bone, along with other valuable artifacts that prove the existence of indigenous groups in the region.

Local caves and other sites also show signs of the presence of black slaves who rebelled and ran away from slavery, as well as other evidence from the Spanish colonial period.

The Cape, as that area is known, also treasures abundant elements from the activities of corsairs and pirates in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. (Prensa Latina)