Mexico is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Mexico’s World Heritage Sites: the Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco in Baja California.
The mountain ranges of the Mexican state of Baja California are home to one of the largest collections of ancient rock paintings in the world:
The central part of the Baja California peninsula is a region of Mexico that concentrates one of the most extraordinary repertoires of rock art in the country, the Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco. The region is insular-like and kept the native peoples relatively isolated from continental influences, allowing the development of a local cultural complex. One of the most significant features of the peninsular prehistory is the mass production of rock art since ancient times and the development of the rock art tradition of the Great Murals.
The Sierra de San Francisco is the mountain range which concentrates the most spectacular and best preserved Great Mural sites, scale-wise one of the largest prehistoric rock art sites in the world. Hundreds of rock shelters, and sometimes huge panels with hundreds and even thousands of brightly painted figures, are found in a good state of conservation. The style is essentially realistic and is dominated by depictions of human figures and marine and terrestrial fauna, designed in red, black, white and yellow, which illustrate the relationship between humans and their environment, and reveal a highly sophisticated culture. The paintings are found on both the walls and roofs of rock shelters in the sides of ravines that are difficult of access. Those in the San Francisco area are divided into four main groups — Guadalupe, Santa Teresa, San Gregorio and Cerritos. The most important sites are Cueva del Batequì, Cueva de la Navidad, Cerro de Santa Marta, Cueva de la Soledad, Cueva de las Flechas and Grutas del Brinco. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #714)
The dry climate of the Sierra de San Francisco mountains has helped to preserve the ancient paintings throughout this region.
You can find a gallery of additional photos of the Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures are you exploring in your homeschool this Leo Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇲🇽
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌎