Engarbo II cave
The Engarbo II cave is located 500 m from Station I, also on the left bank, upstream, of the Frío River, in a sharp bend in the river after passing a small narrowing of the riverbed. The shelter has a more complex floor plan than the previous one, with several hollows connected to an interior tunnel. It has been used as a dwelling and there is still a wall in its main mouth and several evidences of carving in the rock. The walls appear whitewashed in two thirds of its height, which has hidden the cave paintings. It was the object of an intervention of cleaning, and thanks to it, we can observe the most representative set of three deer of the shelter. They are figures with the body outlined and striped inside, with large antlers. We again find human figures similar to Engarbo I, archers and female figures, as well as mountain goats with developed antlers.
Levantine Art in Santiago-Pontones
From the west of the province of Jaén and the north of the province of Almería to the interior of the provinces of Huesca and Lleida, numerous shelters of Levantine art have been documented, organised in four large river basins: the Segura in the south, the Júcar and Turia in the centre and the Ebro in the north. The basins of the Segura, Júcar and Turia rivers were occupied in their entirety, from their source to the mountainous areas near the coast, while the Ebro basin was never crowned. Therefore, the shelters of Santiago-Pontones, together with those existing in the neighbouring region of Los Vélez (Almería), have become the southern frontier of Levantine Art.
Levantine Art is essentially pictorial, although in recent years some engravings have been found. The dyes used have generated three types of chromaticism, red, black and white, with red dominating the painted repertoire. Black, present in several cores, is relatively rare, while white is exclusive to the Albarracín core.
Red: iron oxides -oligite and limonite-.Black: charcoal and manganese oxide. White: barium sulphate.
Feathers and Levantine Art
Recent experiments and analyses suggest the use of bird feathers as brushes to create Levantine figures. The feather is an instrument that makes it possible to obtain the formal qualities and varieties that can be observed in Levantine shelters, because it is flexible and allows a ductile line.
Relevance of cave paintings
The selection of the shelters as a symbolic support is not a casual choice, but depends on the symbolic and cultural strategies of the prehistoric societies established in the territory, functioning as elements of territorial control.
The Levantine painted shelters are places that overlook small geographies and accumulate in ecological niches, with similar physical and environmental characteristics. Surrounded by enclosed landscapes, broken only by the meandering course of rivers and ravines, they offer a clear picture of the relationship that Levantine Art had with nature. Access to these places is never smooth or direct, and it is necessary to play with the labyrinth of the river network. Rivers, streams, ravines and water become the variables that appear without solution of continuity, associated with the great ensembles of Levantine Art.