Mountain River Cave

Saint Catherine Parish

The Tainos, Jamaica's native inhabitants, lived a fairly peaceful and untroubled existence until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1494. Clues to their early existence can be found at Mountain River Cave located in the lush green terrains of Cudjoe Hill, St. Catherine where there is a large collection of Taino art. It is fairly accessible and it is reached via St. Johns Road which leads to Browns Hall.

The cave itself is relatively small measuring 100 feet in length, 30 feet in depth and with a ceiling ranging from 10-15 feet. It is located in a thickly wooded area within the sound of water, cascading down a rock face in the river bed. It is not sure whether the Tainos lived here, but we do know that they visited it from time to time. On their visits the Tainos apparently drew many pictographs (paintings) in the cave. There are a total of 148 identifiable pictographs in the cave although the number may well exceed over 200. There are about 4 or 5 petroglyphs (rock carvings). The exact age of the artwork is unknown, but experts estimate that they may be between 500 to 1300 years old.

Source: Jamaica National Trust

Mountain River Cave
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