05-THE CANCHO DEL RELOJ OF SOLANA DE CABAÑAS

Geoparque Villuercas > CULTURAL SITES > 05-THE CANCHO DEL RELOJ OF SOLANA DE CABAÑAS

Since ancient times this crag has been known locally as the Cancho del Reloj (Clock Rock) as it is the first to be lit up by the sun’s rays every day. Like a clock it announces the beginning of each new day. It is one of the geosites of the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara Global Geopark of the UNESCO and here there is an ensemble of cave paintings which is considered to be one of the finest in the Geopark. Popular tradition christened the site where they are located as ‘The sign’.

In the Sierra del Castillejo (the name refers to the remains of the Arab castle on its summit) stands the Cancho del Reloj, an impressive quartzite cliff. It is surrounded by abundant vegetation consisting of oaks, cork oaks, and scrubland and is located between the syncline of Santa Lucia and the Trujillo-Cáceres peneplain to the west.

The site has important strategic connotations as it has a wide field of vision and affords control over the routes of the valley. This is reflected not only by the cave paintings but also by the existence of the aforementioned Arab fortress and a large settlement

On the smooth surfaces of quartzite to the west of the cliff three groups of schematic rock paintings can be found which occupy approximately seven metres. The ensemble is considered to be one of the finest in the Geopark and was already known to Mario Roso de Luna, the scholar of Logrosán who described the archaeology and geology of the area.

Of all these groups the largest is the central one containing several hundred motifs which are dark red or orange in colour. They represent numerous anthropomorphous schematic figures which are both anchoriform (in the form of an anchor) and cruciform (in the form of a cross). Symbols in the forms of parallel bars or dots are also abundant.

There are radiated forms which can be associated with solar motifs and others representing stylised quadrupeds (in the form of a comb), some of which are of deer and other ungulates. Alongside the animal representations some curious highly stylised anthropomorphous figures can be observed, a variant of the human figure known as the «swallow type» with a long body axis and arms reaching the level of the trunk. Other interesting motifs in the form of a boomerang and some in the shape of a crescent can also be seen.