Palaeolithic Engravings

Sierra Engarcerán

This cave is found on the left hand side of the Barranco de la Guitarra, within the municipal boundaries of the Sierra Engarcerán. It is dihedral in shape, and measures 8 metres in length by approximately 4 metres in width, with a maximum height of 2 metres.

They were discovered in the year 2000 but are over 10,000 years old. The cave is officially named Abrigo de Melià, in acknowledgement of its discoverer, Francisco Melià Martínez, an employee at the Valltorta Museum. The study of the Palaeolithic engravings reveals the development of geologic processes that have aided their preservation.

Some of the engravings in the Abrigo de Melià cave show representations of goats and equine beasts which have little in common with modern animals: pointed and curved noses; triangular or linear legs; shoulder, leg and neck joints; heads separated from the upper body part and bizarre focuses and perspectives, etc. However, they do have a great deal in common with other discoveries such as Parpalló (Gandia), Cueva Matutano (Vilafamés) and Sant Gregori (Falset, Tarragona).


The Abrigo de Melià was the third group of parietal art to be discovered in the Valencian Community, after other sites in Alicante, such as the Cueva “Fosca i Reinos” cave (1988); however, its significance must be appreciated within the wider context of peninsular rock art.


  • 12182 Sierra Engarcerán