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PORTO RICO, on the Isle of Mona, ancient cave paintings were discovered showing Dimensional Portals

Archaeologists from the universities of Leicester and Cambridge, the British Museum and the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico, have discovered the world\’s largest concentration of Taino art (Taino was the first Amerindian population to populate the Caribbean, a region in which came from South America) located on the small and remote uninhabited island of Mona, halfway between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

At present, thousands of Taíno paintings and drawings with animal heads and human faces have been found, often hybrids, mixed and intertwined with abstract geometric and curvilinear patterns unknown to this day.

Only 30 of the more than a hundred caves on the island have been explored, so it is likely that more paintings of these cave paintings will be discovered. Most of the artistic representations discovered so far, archaeologists say, date back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Researchers have discovered that the techniques used in the creation of paintings in the caves are examples of the use of bat droppings or guano. “The paintings were done with bat droppings that had more than decades absorbed naturally occurring yellow, brown and red minerals from the cave floors. Plant resin was sometimes added to help the guano paint adhere to cave walls. Other images were created simply through the use of charcoal crayons, so the researchers describe the cave painting method in an article titled “Artists before Columbus: A multi-method characterization of the materials and practices of Caribbean cave art . ”

Sometimes the A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ artists would add the plant resin so that the paint adhered to the cave walls. The technique was simple but effective, since these drawings have remained in the caves for more than 500 years. Caves played a vital role in Taino religion and society.

According to Taino mythology, the caves were considered the origin of the first human beings, as well as the moon and the sun. Furthermore, the caves were often used as tombs and were considered as spaces where ancestral spirits and deities could communicate with the living through spiritual portals or dimensional portals.

The repercussions of this culture are believed to have passed the coasts of the island and to have had religious, ceremonial and ritual importance for the c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ of the central Caribbean, especially in what is now Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Interestingly, there is pre-Columbian archaeological evidence linking it culturally to both places.

Thanks to the Taino c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳, Europeans discovered rubber, tobacco, potatoes, sweet corn and many fruits. In fact, the modern words “canoe”, “hammock”, “tobacco”, “hurricane”, “corn”, “potato”, “guayaba”, “papaya”, “sabana” and “barbacoa” are loanwords from the people of Taino. Furthermore, the names of many cities and towns in the Caribbean have their origin in this culture. The name of the Caribbean region is also of Taino origin.

A Spanish observer of the sixteenth century described the Taino ceremonies in which participants went into a trance due to the consumption of seeds from special plants. During these hallucinogenic processes, the shamans of Taíno tried to communicate with the ancestors and the deities of their community. It is therefore possible that the art in the rocks described in the Mona caves was promoted by A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ hallucinogenic drugs.

This archaeological work is of great importance, not only to show the world in general the remarkable artistic representations of a lost culture but also to help the descendants of the Taínos better understand their origins.

“For the millions of indigenous people who inhabited the Caribbean before the arrival of Europeans, the caves represented spiritual portals and, as a result, these new discoveries capture the essence of their belief systems and the pillars of their cultural identity,” he says. Jago Cooper, British Museum archaeologist.

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