Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii
Reference 714
UNESCO region Latin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription 1993 (17th Session)

The Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco is the name of the prehistoric rock art pictographs found in the Sierra de San Francisco mountain range in Mulegé Municipality of the northern region of Baja California Sur state, in Mexico. 1


The pictographs are representations of what was once the life of the Cochimi people, or Guachimis, in the Baja California peninsula. Little is known about this group, apart from the fact that they came from further north. These paintings on the roofs of rock shelters and on the rock walls of Sierra de San Francisco were first discovered by Europeans in the eighteenth century by the Spanish Jesuit missionary, Francisco Javier.

According to traditional beliefs, the paintings were drawn by a race of giants. This is supported by the size of some human figures which are 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall. They have a magic-religious content. Other subjects include weapons, and animal species such as rabbit, puma, lynx, deer, wild goat/sheep, whale, turtle, tuna, sardine, octopus, eagle and pelican. There are also abstract elements of various forms. The paintings vary in age from 1100 BCE to 1300 CE.


The pictographs are at around 250 sites, which are located within the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve. Access to the paintings is difficult due to the isolation location, which also has prevented vandalism.


The area has the most important concentration of Pre-Columbian art on the Baja California Peninsula. It is of exceptional quality at both national and international standards: for the high quality, extent, variety and originality of human and animal representations, remarkable colors, and excellent state of preservation.

In 1989 the rock paintings of Sierra de San Francisco were nominated for, and in 1993 became, a World Heritage Site.

See also


  1. ^ Danny Palmerlee. 2007. Baja California and Los Cabos, 308 pages

External links

Coordinates: 27°39′20″N 112°54′58″W / 27.6555611°N 112.91611°W / 27.6555611; -112.91611

Creative Commons License