Cueva de las Arañas

A vigilancia (security guard) hired to protect the Talgua Cave discovered, while looking for other routes into the Cave of the Glowing Skulls, another cave nearby with burials of its own.

JimB.jpg (97349 bytes)Dr. Jim Brady, Associate Professor at California State College - Los Angeles, entering a burial chamber.  Tight fit!  Obviously, I did not take this photograph.  This cave was infested with "sting-less scorpions" that local folks called arañas.  I have not yet become curious enough about these arthropods to investigate them further.  But, just what sort of "cave creatures" have evolved in Honduras?  One cave east of Santa Bárbara is populated by snails that have no pigment - they are entirely white.  Many Honduran caves remain to be explored and mapped.

arbns.jpg (160782 bytes)This cave has far less calcite deposition than Talgua Cave.  Bones preservation here is enhanced by poor air circulation, leading to a lack of oxygen, a very hazardous situation for cave archaeologists!


arbns1.jpg (216136 bytes)Someone has disturbed these burials - long bones are scattered, skulls lying beside instead of on top.

arbns2.jpg (154935 bytes)Calcite has been deposited on some burials, burials that have been scattered.  The looters visited this chamber many years ago.  Perhaps this explains why those using the Talgua Cave expended an enormous effort to place the bones of their honored dead in so inaccessible a chamber..

paint.jpg (159774 bytes)Rock art - several paintings remain visible on the walls of the Cueva de las Arañas, preserved because of poor air circulation.  Archaeologists subsequently discovered traces of pigment near the Talgua Cave entrance.  Who - or what - is this drawing supposed to represent?  A similar pattern was found on the 'face' of a 'statue' uncovered in Talgua Village.

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