The Portuguese River Douro has two major tributaries – rivers Agueda and River Coa. Along these two rivers’ banks, you will find the 2 Prehistoric Rock Art sites; one in Coa Valley in Portugal and the other in Siega Verde in Spain.
The Portuguese River Douro has two major tributaries – rivers Agueda and River Coa. Along these two rivers’ banks, you will find the 2 Prehistoric Rock Art sites; one in Coa Valley in Portugal and the other in Siega Verde in Spain. The two sites showcases documented continuous human occupation that traces its roots to the Paleolithic Age.
The rock art sites contain hundreds of panels with animal figures. In particular, there are 5,000 artistic figures in Foz Coa and about 440 in siege Verde. This is a work of several millennia. This art represents the most remarkable open air ensemble of Paleolithic art in the Iberian Peninsula.
Coa Valley and Siega Verde provide the best example of iconographic themes and organization of Paleolithic rock art. They form a set of rich evidentiary material from the Upper Paleolithic occupation.
The settlements are characterized by river pebbles and large schist slabs on which were found thick deposits of the waste from the making and trimming stone tools. The acidic soils in the area do not allow the thriving of organic materials such as wood or bone.
The animal carcasses found here points to human occupation that included working on hides, bones, wood and stone. The area was devoid of human occupation until the 6th millennium BC. The incoming group brought the Neolithic sedentary farming culture to the northwest Iberian Peninsula.
The paintings on the rocks feature ibex, fish, aurochs, red deer, horses etc. Trust me; there are very few places that can match the beauty of this rock art. Do your best to visit this area during your stay in Spain. It will take you down the memory lane to the origins of human settlement in the Iberian Peninsula. It makes for a good history trip for schools and history scholars.
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