The Talampaya Petroglyphs

Talampaya Petroglyphs, Argentina

The Talampaya petroglyphs are located in the Talampaya National Park, which hosts some unique petroglyphs and ancient rock art left by the Native pre-Hispanic and pre-Columbian population that inhabited the area.

Declared National Park in 1997 and enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008,  the Talampaya National Park is also home to rock formations that date back to the Triassic period, such as the Talampaya Canyon, the Rainbow Canyon, and the “Lost City”.

The whole National Park covers an area of 531,000 acres or 215,000 ha.

Talampaya petroglyphs

Some of the petroglyphs strongly remind of the ones that can be seen in other ancient rock art sites from Europe to India, and North America, especially the classic “cross” symbol, precisely identical to the crosses of the Native Americans that can be seen in the Canyons of North America.

Anthropomorphic figures can clearly be spotted wearing strange circular headdresses that seem to emit light in certain cases or having horns, similarly to the petroglyphs in Valcamonica, Italy, to the ones in Tassili n’Ajjer in Algeria and the one in Mt.Helan, China, not to mention the ones from the Canyons of North America.

Argentina Talampaya petroglyphs

The aboriginal group of people that left these petroglyphs were most likely semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers who also left artifacts from approximately 600 BCE while traveling through the canyon.

Archaeological studies and surveys began only recently, and further speculations cannot be done.

Thirty-two sites have been discovered so far, but they are only accessible to scientists. Among inhabited caves, burial sites, campgrounds and tool-making areas, the only site that can be explored by visitors is the petroglyph rock.