Cueva de las Manos, Argentina

Where space is a signature of the people who made it

The Cave of Hands is one of the oldest examples of people using physical space to tell stories and communicate with one another. In remote Patagonia, in the valley of the Pinturas River, ancient caves provide an ochre-colored window 5,000-10,000 years back in time. It's believed that these cave paintings depict the lives of the ancestors of the Tehuelche people, who currently reside near the caves. Scenes illustrate ancient tools, animals, and people; while perhaps the most striking paintings are the collages of stenciled hands, ghostly signatures of the artists. Cueva de las Manos suggests that it's human nature use the space around us to communicate stories, information, ideas, and identities.