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.
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