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Alphonso Pinart’s Cave - Río Seco area of Jauco, Baracoa-Cuba

On September 22nd, 2022, after years of academic research and in field exploration, renowned Cuban archeologist Roberto Ordúñez Fernández together with José Emilio Pineda Odou, Yahabet Disotuar and Alberto Garrido traveled south of Baracoa intent on finding a cave first described by the French explorer Alphonso Pinart in 1880.

As they arrived in the town of Jauco in the province of Guatánamo, by the Río Seco river, they met a local resident, Roberto Mato, whose great grandfather’s spoke of a group of men around 1900 who came to the area and after visiting various caves, took with them some odd pieces.

Orduñez’ group followed Mato into the caves and were amazed to identify the caves described by Pinart over 100 years ago according to his reporting of the cave drawings, currently in a degraded state.

Orduñez in front of the large stones with indigenous art

An even more important revelation for the team, however, was to find 33 mortars dug into the floor, indicating the great number of indigenous families who likely lived in the caves over the centuries.

Until this discovery, other area caves with floor mortars utilized by the native groups to grind and prepare food have only had 4 or 5 mortars.

Ordúñez is responsible for discovering, cataloging and publishing articles and books on the eastern Cuba caves with the first known petroglyphs, art drawings, and artifacts of the indigenous populations in Cuba.

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