Sites & cities that bear the name of Côa Valley

Côa Valley

Today in : Portugal
First trace of activity : ca. 25,000 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 1st century B.C.E
Recorded names : Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa

Description : The Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of the Côa Valley is an open-air Paleolithic archaeological site located in northeastern Portugal, near the border with Spain. In the early 1990s rock engravings were discovered in Vila Nova de Foz Côa during the construction of a dam in the Côa River valley. 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. The sites were reviewed by archaeologists and other specialists of UNESCO and other agencies. Public support grew, both within Portugal and internationally, for preservation of the archaeological artifacts and rock paintings. In 1995 elections led to a change in government resulting in the cancellation of the dam project. Since 1995, a team of archaeologists have been studying and cataloging this prehistoric complex. The Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley (Portuguese: Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (PAVC)) was created to receive visitors and research the findings, and the Côa Museum was constructed here following a major design competition. he earliest drawings appearing in the Côa Valley date between 22–20 thousand years B.C., consisting of zoomorphic imagery of nature. Between 20–18 thousand B.C. (Solutense period), a secondary group of animal drawings included examples of muzzled horses. There was greater elaboration during 16–10 thousand 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 detailed, and deer. Other paintings dating back to the Epipaleolithic period were of zoomorphic semi-naturalist design. Some anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs, both geometric and abstract, date from the Neolithic period. Others, primarily anthropomorphic, date back to the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age. Between the 5th and 1st centuries BC, early organized societies produced anthropomorphic and zoomorphic carvaings that include weapons and symbols. The most recent era of recorded rock art dates from the 17th to 20th centuries and includes religious, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs, inscriptions and dates. The most recent of these include representations of boats, trains, bridges, planes and representations of various scenes, including drawings completed by António Seixas and Alcino Tomé.

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