Huerto Raso I and II

  • Locality :Lecina
  • Municipality :Bárcabo
  • Altitude :765 m.
  • Listed Status :Site of cultural interest. World Heritage
  • Cultural sequence :Neolithic
  • Excavation :Vicente Baldellou. 1986-7





    The site is on the right bank of the River Vero near the confluence with the Basender gulley in the Huerto Raso area, upstream from the Gallinero site.

    It overlooks the lower area of the sheer limestone cliffs.

    The site consists of two small caves (Huerto Raso I and Huerto Raso II) that contain schematic paintings done in red.


    This small cave measures 8 m at the mouth and 6 m in depth. The roof of the cave has been blackened by what seem to be blue-green algae and possibly also by the smoke from ancient fires.

    The pictorial expressions are found on the right wall of the cavity and are grouped into three series of red bars (described from right to left).

    - First group of bars:

    Group of three parallel vertical bars that shrink in length from right to left. The longest bar is 6.4 cm long. To the left of the shortest bar are traces that could correspond to a fourth bar, now almost completely missing.

    - Second group of bars

    A series of four parallel vertical bars that lean slightly towards the left.

    The very blurred pigment is identical in hue to that of the bars described above. In the bottom part of the three bars to the right, the pigment has run to a considerable degree, meaning that they now appear to be joined together in a blot. The maximum length, including the blot, is 15.5 cm.

    - Third group of bars:

    A group of four parallel vertical bars that are somewhat wider than those described above. They are in a paler hue but are equally diffuse and reach a maximum length of 9 cm.


    Small cave measuring 7 m at the mouth and 5 m in depth that contains schematic painting done in red grouped into four panels on either side of the entrance.

    Situated some 60 m above ground level, the cave appears today to be hanging on the limestone wall.

    SECTOR 1

    - Bars

    This sector is affected by flaking. Visible today are two fragmentary vertical lines with a third possible line between them. The maximum length reached is 11.1 cm.

    - Bar or finger mark measuring 7 cm in length.

    - Blot measuring 5.9 cm in length and very blurred.

    - Possible bar, very washed out and in a poor state of conservation. It seems that the two surviving stretches follow a single alignment, though it may also be that the two lines are unrelated. The colour used for both of them is very similar. The lower bar is 5.5 cm long.

    SECTOR 2

    - Anthropomorph painted in red with short legs and a long right arm that is an extension of the vertical line of the body. The lower bar is 5.5 cm in length.

    - Converging lines that form a kind of fork or arrow, though they could also be the lower limbs of an anthropomorph like the one described above, with the upper part of the body now missing.

    - Oblique line that could be a finger mark, measuring 9.3 cm in length.

    - Blot

    - Traces, much of which is now missing, making them undecipherable.

    SECTOR 3

    - Traces, much of which has been lost, that could represent two bars done in pigment that has run.

    SECTOR 4

    - Bars: a series of three parallel vertical bars. The one farthest to the left is almost missing. The maximum length reached is 8.7 cm.


    The various authors, such as Baldellou and Utrillas, are of the view that, as occurred in Chaves, this would seem to be a case in which the artistic expressions are not in the shelter used as a dwelling itself but in the immediate surroundings, in this case in front of it.

    Subsequent studies by Abad, Cuchí, Domingo, Leo and Montes at the site opposite the shelters with rock art recovered a large number of items that suggest the site was occupied during the early Neolithic Period.