Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites 
in the Ca Valley (1998)
Portugal

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This exceptional concentration of rock carvings from the Upper Palaeolithic (22,00010,000 B.C.) is the most outstanding example of early human artistic activity in this form anywhere in the world. 

Portugal 1998l. World Cultural Heritage. Rock Art drawings in the Coa Valley.

The Ca River is a tributary of the Douro that runs from south to north through a deeply incised valley. The spring is located in the Serra da Malcata, near Sabugal. 

Another characteristic feature of the landscape are the rocky formations outcropping through the predominantly low and open vegetation: granites upstream from Santa Comba, schist downstream to the Douro. Erosion acts upon these different bedrocks in different ways. The granitic plateaus, cut by deep ravines, feature spaced accumulations of large round boulders. 

  • Portugal 1998.  Stamp showing Rock Art drawings in the Ca Valley.  The stamp is included in a souvenir sheet, shown below. 

Portugal 1998. World Cultural Heritage. Souvenir sheet from the Archeological Park in Coa Valley.

The Upper Palaeolithic rock-art of the Ca valley is an outstanding example of the sudden flowering of creative genius at the dawn of human cultural development. The Ca Valley rock art throws light on the social, economic, and spiritual life on the life of the early ancestor of humankind in a wholly exceptional manner.

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Other World Heritage Sites in Portugal and Areas (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Portugal-section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus 
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