Oldest depictions of conquistadors discovered in a Mexican cave

Possibly the oldest depictions of Spanish conquistadors, pictured in typical 16th century outfits, were found by archaeologists in five remote mountain caves in the State of Guerrero, Mexico.

Drawn conquistador (by International Business Times)
Drawn conquistador (by International Business Times)

The caves in which the paintings were found are associated by archaeologists with shelters for the ancient peoples from the persecution of the European settlers during the time of the Spanish colonisation. The paintings themselves are thought to date to beginning of the 16th century, the time right after the colonisation started. According to the archaeologist from National Institute of History and Anthropology (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia), the outfits in which the conquistadors are painted represent what was typically worn at that period in Spain.

Documentation of the cave art  (by International Business Times)
Documentation of the cave art (by International Business Times)

Some of the paintings show the Europeans carrying swords or firearms such as harquebuses. Others are depicted riding horses. What interesting, a woman dressed in European fashion also is depicted in one of the paintings. Alongside Europeans, the art in these caves also shows animal figures and geometrical shapes. According to the archaeologists the drawing style varies between the paintings representing Europeans and the others artworks. Conquistador figures are similar to the representations that appear in colonial codices of the 16th and 17th centuries, while animal depictions closely resemble depictions made by indigenous communities that lived in the Valley of Mexico before colonisation.

Depiction of a conquistador (by International Business Times)
Depiction of a conquistador (by International Business Times)

(after International Business Times)

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