Pictograms are very valuable

Recently, the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba (MANA) has noticed an increased interest in the archaeological sites with pictograms or petroglyphs.

More and more people are enjoying our nature by walking, exploring and visiting archaeological sites. MANA is pleased to note that interest in the 2019 catalog of pictograms in Aruba has increased. It is important for everyone who loves Aruba to protect and preserve our wildlife and cultural heritage.

Visiting archaeological sites with pictograms on rocks is something unique, as you can see the expressions of our antecedents. This experience is not comparable in other locations where you can hardly see the drawings on the rocks. If you enjoy petroglyphs or icons, you should realize that these drawings were made by our ancestors over a thousand years ago in the exact same location where you stand. These locations have been specifically selected by our ancestors and will spark our imagination many years later. So far the meaning of the drawings is unclear. Archaeological sites with pictograms will not last forever, because they are very fragile. Erosion and other natural causes and human intervention have resulted in many of the icons decaying and fading. That is why the MANA is emphasizing that only together can we protect and preserve our heritage. Many depend on the goodwill of the community, and fortunately, many people and entities help protect and preserve the archaeological sites. In many cases, these individuals and entities contact MANA when they find archaeological objects or sites, such as when digging foundations for houses, digging a swimming pool or building roads. The fact that some archaeological sites were unknown was a good one, as they were not exposed to human intervention. The MANA noted that recently many social media posts showed an icon that is getting more and more attention. They expressed concern about the damage caused and the waste left behind at this location.

MANA has been pushing for years to enact a protection law for these archaeological sites, but this has never materialized. It is important to note that although some archaeological sites are protected with steel and / or monitoring at the sites, vandalism can still be seen in these sites. That’s why the MANA spends so much time educating the community about Indigenous history and its importance. MANA exhibition is free of charge and open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

MANA invites those concerned about damage to an archaeological site in Aruba to contact the MANA archaeological experts at 582-8979 or by email dir.mana.aw@gmail.com.