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BANDELIER
National Monument
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Painted Cave
Painted Cave.


Principal Ruins of the National Monument

PAINTED CAVE. A final feature of particular interest in the back country of the monument is the Painted Cave. This art gallery in the cliffs decorates a canyon wall some 12 miles from headquarters. Once a large population inhabited this canyon of Capulin Creek, but most of the evidences of habitation have vanished except for the extensive pictographs on the weatherproof back wall of the Painted Cave. The arch of the cave is shallow but wide, so that a smooth area over 50 feet long was available to the artists; several dozen drawings in a variety of reds and blacks adorn this surface. It is probable that many generations of artists used the cave, since space finally ran out and later drawings are superimposed on their faded predecessors. Moreover, evidence of historic, or post-Spanish, artistry is here—a sketch of a conquistador on horseback, another of a mission church complete with cross.



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