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Sunny Walkers 30422: GARGANTA DEL GAMERO-LAJA ALTA (JIMENA-CÁDIZ)

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Trail stats

Distance
9.35 mi
Elevation gain
1,995 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
1,995 ft
Max elevation
1,403 ft
TrailRank 
51
Min elevation
196 ft
Trail type
Loop
Moving time
4 hours 27 minutes
Time
6 hours 45 minutes
Coordinates
2645
Uploaded
April 3, 2022
Recorded
April 2022
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near Jimena de la Frontera, Andalucía (España)

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Trail photos

Photo ofSunny Walkers 30422: GARGANTA DEL GAMERO-LAJA ALTA (JIMENA-CÁDIZ) Photo ofSunny Walkers 30422: GARGANTA DEL GAMERO-LAJA ALTA (JIMENA-CÁDIZ) Photo ofSunny Walkers 30422: GARGANTA DEL GAMERO-LAJA ALTA (JIMENA-CÁDIZ)

Itinerary description

Laja Alta Cave

Located outside of the village of Jimena de la Frontera, within the Alcornocales Natural Park, is a collection of prehistoric cave paintings which are very early examples of art in southern Spain. These are referred to by locals as La Cueva de la Laja Alta (High Stone Slab Cave).

There are a variety of images on the walls of Laja Alta cave (protected by large black metal bars), some of which are believed to depict human, animal and godlike figures, while others show scenes of boats. The issue of providing an accurate date for the ship paintings is challenging for researchers: the most accepted range for these used to be the prehistoric period between 1000 and 700 BC, attributed to the arrival of the Phoenicians to the Strait of Gibraltar during that time.

As for the other figures of humans, animals and deities, it is difficult to place them in a specific period since the drawings are so diverse and appear to represent different things. The images in Laja Alta cave are recognized as simple cave paintings; typical of the Neolithic era, but the depiction of boats makes them a unique case.

Originally, when discovered, it was thought that these ships were Phoenician and were painted 3,000 - 1,000 years ago. However, a study carried out by the University of Granada on the cave in 2013 revealed, via scientific dating of the paintings that some samples of art were between 4,000 - 6,000 years old. Part of this dating and the topic of the origin of the boats were featured in a documentary The Neolithic Gate of Civilization shown by TVE La 2 in June 2016.

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