That moment in time when humans first started to draw or depict something through drawings, when we found a way to transfer a thought, an idea or event onto paper, was a pivotal turning point and an achievement that forever changed the course of history. The study of that process is key to understanding our ancestors, who they were and how they lived. Now, imagine a time when paper did not yet exist, in which our ancestors drew on cave walls and those ideas managed to be preserved for thousands of years and you have the chance to see them today. If you are in Monterrey, this is possible.
Just one hour away from Monterrey, you can explore a unique archeological zone, La Boca de Potrerillo, which is located in the middle of the desert and between two mountain ranges that form the Potrerillos Canyon. On the one hand, this natural combination allows you to carry out hiking activities and observe the flora and fauna.
But what you are going to love most about these vestiges of the past, and what makes them special, are the engravings on the rocks or petroglyphs. It is estimated that there are more than 17,000 and although they were made at different times, the oldest are from 5,000 years ago. It is the most important rock art site in the country and admission is free.
Not only will you be able to witness where our ancestors lived, but you will also be able to step into their mindset firsthand. Rock art most resembles the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians. They help us understand the language of the past.
Among the engravings, you will find references to the cult of natural phenomena. They are not only images of the sun, stars and rain, but also what these meant to their culture, which does not necessarily resonate in the same for us today. The images capture artifacts, plants and animals and relate them to themes of rituals, hunting and fertility. Topics we can only assume dominated their minds and daily lives.
Additionally, you can find artifacts and tools used by these people, such as projectile tips, scrapers and amulets, as well as pottery and kitchen utensils. Something as common to us as fire was transcendent in the lives of our ancestors, and in this area small mounds of fragmented rock or hob were also recovered.
By studying this area, the Mexican government has been able to learn a lot from those who inhabited these lands. At first it was believed they were nomads and savages; however, we now know these hunter gatherers had a highly developed culture, ideology and religion.
To complement your walk, La Boca de Potrerillos is located in the municipality of Mina, and if you have the time, we recommend you visit this town and especially the Bernabé de las Casas Museum, which includes fossils found in the area’s surroundings.
When you look at these images, you can’t help but ask yourself: what will our rock art say to future generations? What is the rock art of the human being of the twenty-first century – cell phones, books? How has rock art changed our days? What themes dominate our daily life?
Due to environmental factors, rock art is difficult to preserve. It is important to follow the guides’ instructions, not to litter and not to tamper or damage the archaeological sites so that we and future generations can continue to enjoy this magnificent and unique site that gives us a privileged look at our past.
We also invite you to enjoy the luxury, dining and comfort of our hotels in Monterrey, which include the Hampton Inn by Hilton Monterrey / Galleries-Bishopric; Homewood Suites by Hilton Monterrey Apodaca, Hampton Inn by Hilton Monterrey Apodeca; Hampton Inn by Hilton Monterrey-Airport and the Hilton Garden Inn Monterrey Airport, which offer you an idyllic stay and the perfect rest when you return from your visit to the past at Boca de Potrerillos in Monterrey.