Talampaya is an area discovered in 1873 by the German geologist Alfred Stalzner, lost in the deserts of the La Rioja province, in Argentina. According to most linguists, its name means “dry river of the tala” (a hackthorn tree, Celtis spinossissima).
The rocks that characterize it, as old as dinosaurs, were exposed during the uplift of the Andean range. They contain high quantities of iron oxide, which gives them their red color, and have been shaped by wind and water over the last 60 million of years into their current forms.
The region has been inhabited by Cienaga, Condor Huasi, Aguada, Sanagasta and Inca peoples ever since 2600 b.C. They used the area as a sacred meeting-place for artistic expressions, and filled it with petroglyphs.
Talampaya’s rock-art is to be found on black rocks or on the faces of the canyons, and depict geometric forms and shapes of animals and humans. One of them is believed to represent a wizard, with his bag of magic items.