tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Revisioning the Relationship between Man and Jaguar: A Reassesment of the Olmec Paintings of Oxtotitlán, Guerrero, Mexico

Author(s): Heather Hurst

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


The rock art of the Oxtotitlán and Juxtlahuaca caves are among the earliest known examples of Mesoamerican figurative wall painting. As part of the recent research initiative examining the Oxtotitlán cave paintings, re-illustration presents new images of the ancient artworks. Detailed field drawings are combined with multispectral imaging data and analysis of painting technology to precisely record the art, even when lines are no longer visible to the naked eye. Increased clarity of the calligraphic linework, better documentation of the uneven rock surface, and refinement of iconographic details significantly alters the style and content of some well-known images. The Oxtotitlán paintings are the work of experienced artists who were proficient in complex iconographic systems and talented in representation. This paper presents the rock art at Oxtotitlán in context both within the cave site and among the stratigraphy of multiple painting events, as well as considers how previous archaeological documentation of these artworks have shaped notions of Olmec belief systems.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Revisioning the Relationship between Man and Jaguar: A Reassesment of the Olmec Paintings of Oxtotitlán, Guerrero, Mexico. Heather Hurst. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396329)


Olmec Painting Rock Art

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America