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La Graja cave and rock-shelters

Andalucía (Spain)

Natural Environment:

Sierra Mágina Natural Park. The Massif of Sierra Mágina is catalogued in the Special Plan for the Protection of the Physical Environment.

Regional Archaeological Context:

Settlements and sites with rock art: Copper Age, Neolithic. To be precise, at a higher altitude but in the same area as La Graja Rock-shelters, El Curro Rock-shelters contain similar paintings with three female figures, animals and finger-marks.

Site History:

The paintings were discovered in 1902 by Eduardo Cobos, a notary public in Jimena. Six years later, Gómez-Moreno carried out a detailed study in his work “Pictografías andaluzas”.

Archaeological evidence at the site:

LA GRAJA I: This is a shallow rock-shelter with a small alcove in the centre and towards the interior, which divides the wall into two parts, both of which contain paintings. They are about 6m wide and 5m high at the entrance and 6m deep. The paintings are divided into the groups on the right and on the left of the entrance. Each of these includes several sub-groups.

LA GRAJA II: This is a small shallow rock-shelter on a narrow ledge, 5m from the base of the cliffs.

Short Description:

In LA GRAJA I, the paintings are divided between a group on the right and another on the left of the entrance. The left-hand group is divided into up to five sub-groups, with anthropomorphs of different forms and sizes, with feathers and horns on their heads, some with curved arms and a headless one. The animals are goats, and there are stripes, lines and comb-like and eye-like signs, sometimes associated with the anthropomorphs. The most common colour is red, in different shades. On the right, there are anthropomorphs (8) with curved arms and some of them in pairs, animals, above all goats (5) and other deteriorated figures. An outstanding figure is an anthropomorph with two goats, possibly a scene of domestication.

LA GRAJA II contains a small group of branching figures (like centipedes), stripes and remains in carmine red. The figures are poorly conserved because of the effect of rainwater, and agree stylistically with the art in La Graja I Rock-shelter.


From the Neolithic to the Copper Age.

Type of Site: Two groups of caves or rock-shelters, La Graja I and La Graja II.
How to Find the Site: The site is in the north of Macizo del Aznaitín, between 700 and 900m above sea level, in one of the northern foothills of Sierra Mágina. The rock-shelters are reached along a natural cliff, like an oblique cornice, very near the hermitage of Cánava. La Graja II Rock-shelter is reached about 30m before La Graja I, climbing from the hermitage.
Website: www.pueblos-españa.org/andalucia/jaen/jimena - www.cerespain.com/jimena.html 

State/Region: Andalucía
Province/Department: Jaén
Municipality: Jimena
Town: Jimena
Location: Hermitage of Cánava


The sites have recently been fenced off. The key can be obtained at Jimena Town Hall.

Information and contact:

Jimena's town hall (Jaen)

E-mail: ayuntamientodejimena@gmail.com

http: // www.jimena.es

Tlf: +34 953 357001

Nearby cultural destinations:

Settlements: Copper Age, Neolithic, Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval sites in general in Sierra Mágina, Lomas de Baeza and Úbeda, Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, etc. Rock-art sites: Copper Age, Neolithic.

Nearby natural destinations:

Natural Park of Sierra Mágina, Natural Park of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, Sierra Morena, Guadalquivir Valley, etc.

Accommodation near the site:

In Jimena, Loma de Baeza and Úbeda, and local villages.

Restaurants near the site:

In Jimena, Loma de Baeza and Úbeda, and local villages.


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