Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites
in the Côa Valley (1998)
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This exceptional concentration of rock carvings from the Upper Palaeolithic (22,000–10,000 B.C.) is the most outstanding example of early human artistic activity in this form anywhere in the world.
||The Côa 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. Souvenir sheet from the Archeological Park of the Côa Valley.
The Upper Palaeolithic rock-art of the Côa valley is an outstanding example of the sudden flowering of creative genius at the dawn of human cultural development. The Côa 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.
Source and link:
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