Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde

In 2011 my wife and I visited Vila Nova de Foz Côa. We didn't have the chance to see the real rock art sites because we arrived quite late and the weather wasn't good, but we saw the many reproductions in the wonderful museum of the Côa Parque

Rock Art in the Côa Valley

The Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of the Côa Valley is an open-air Paleolithic archaeological site located in a region of northeastern Portugal, near the border with Spain.
In the early 1990s rock engravings were discovered in Vila Nova de Foz Côa during the course of the construction of a dam in the valley of the Côa River. They include thousands of engraved rock drawings of horses, bovines and other animals, human and abstract figures, dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years B.C.

Rock Art in the Côa Valley

The first drawings appearing in the Côa Valley date between 22–20,000 years B.C., consisting of zoomorphic imagery of nature. Between 20–18,000 B.C. (Solutense period), a secondary group of animal drawings included examples of muzzled horses. There was greater elaboration during 16–10,000 years B.C. (Magdalenense period), with a Paleolithic style. The essentially anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs included horses identifiable by their characteristic manes, aurochs with mouths and nostrils indicated, and deer.

Other paintings dating back to the Epipaleolithic period were of zoomorphic semi-naturalist design. Another phase of anthropomorphic designs were encountered during the Neolithic, that also included zoomorphic designs that were both geometric and abstract. Anthropomorphic designs also appeared dating back to the Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages; these were primarily anthropomorphic in character.

Rock Art in the Côa Valley
This postcard was given to me by cousin Isabel

Between the 5th and 1st centuries, early organized humans were responsible for producing anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs that included weapons and symbols.
The final era of recorded rock art, corresponding to the 17th to 20th centuries, include religious, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs, inscriptions and dates. The later part of these designs include representations of boats, trains, bridges, planes and representations of various scenes, including drawings completed by António Seixas and Alcino Tomé. - in: wikipedia

Rock Art in Siega Verde

This postcard was sent by Javier

Siega Verde is an archaeological site in Serranillo, Villar de la Yegua, province of Salamanca, in Castile and León, Spain. It was added to the Côa Valley Paleolithic Art site in the World Heritage List in 2010.
The site consists of a series of rock carvings, discovered in 1988 by professors Manuel Santoja, during an inventory campaign of archaeological sites in the valley of the Águeda river. Subjects include equids, aurochs, deer and goats, among the most common ones, as well as bison, reindeer and the woolly rhinoceros, which were not yet extinct at the time.
The engravings date to the Gravettian culture of the Upper Palaeolithic (circa 20,000 years ago). There are also more recent, anthropomorphic representations, dating to the Magdalenian age (c. 9,000 years ago). There is a total of 91 panels, spanning some 1 kilometers of rock. - in: wikipedia

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