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1st Edition

The Prehistoric Rock Art of Portugal Symbolising Animals and Things

By Sara Garcês, George Nash Copyright 2024
    ISBN 9780367337827
    472 Pages 129 B/W Illustrations
    September 14, 2023 by Routledge

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    The Prehistoric Rock Art of Portugal presents significant interpretive perspectives in Portuguese rock art research and offers an excellent representation of core rock art areas, along with current thinking and interpretations.

    The various chapters deliver a personal approach to the many issues, themes and approaches that are embedded within the rock art of the outpost of western Atlantic Europe. Ethnographical perspectives have often dominated the study of rock art but unlike other well studied regions, the western Iberian Peninsula is absent of an ethnographical or ethno-historical past and therefore the production of rock art can only be archaeologically assessed. Thus, the work promotes interpretive perspectives on Portuguese rock art, illustrating the richness, chronology and context of these unique artistic expressions and explores the variability of rock art imagery and the diversity of landscapes and social contexts in which it was produced.

    Although focusing on Portuguese rock art the book includes a number of universal themes that will appeal to a broad range of scholars researching in archaeology and anthropology, history of art, as well as professionals engaged in rock art heritage and conservation.

    Introduction: Changes and dynamics in western Iberian prehistoric rock art

    George Nash and Sara Garcês

    1. The Discovery of Paleolithic Art in Portugal: The Escoural Cave
    2. António Carlos Silva, Sara Garcês, Carlos Carpetudo

    3. Looking Through Rock Eyes: Being Upper Palaeolithic in The Côa Valley and its Territory of Lithic Raw Material Sourcing
    4. André Tomás Santos

    5. The Palaeolithic Rock Art of Northern Portugal and Galicia (Spain)
    6. Sofia Figueiredo-Persson, Joana Valdez-Tullett, Ramon Fábregas Valcarce, Arturo Lombera Hermida, Rodríguez-Alvarez, X.P.

    7. Philosophical Mechanics of An Engraved Horse: The Upper Palaeolithic Open-Air Rock Art Within The Tagus River Basin, Central Portugal
    8. George Nash and Sara Garcês

    9. From Hunter Gatherer to Farmer or Something in Between: The Rock Art of Early Holocene
    10. Joana Castro Teixeira and Maria de Jesus Sanches

    11. Understanding the Painted Form: The Archaeometric Studies
    12. Hugo Gomes and Pierluigi Rosina

    13. Schematic Art Paintings in Northern Portugal
    14. Lara Bacelar Alves and Mário Reis

    15. Painted Schematic Rock Art Within Central and Southern Portugal
    16. George Nash and Sara Garcês

    17. The Tagus River Rock Art (Central Portugal)
    18. Sara Garcês 

    19. The Guadiana Valley Rock Art Complex
    20. Hipólito Collado Giraldo, José Julio García Arranz and Sara Garcês

    21. Picturing In Western Iberian Neolithic Dolmens
    22. George Nash

    23. Atlantic Rock Art of the Northwest Portugal
    24. Daniela Cardoso

    25. Thinking about the Bronze Age Rock Art of Portugal. What's New?
    26. Ana M. S. Bettencourt

    27. Iron Age Rock Art: Old and New Figures
    28. Fernando Coimbra 

    29. The Use of Geographic Information Systems [Gis] in the Field of Rock Art

    Sara Garcês, Dionysios Danelatos, Rita Ferreira Anastácio, George Nash


    George Nash is an Associate Professor at IPT, and a researcher of the Geosciences Centre of University of Coimbra (u. ID73 – FCT), and Earth and Memory Institute (ITM) in Portugal and an associate researcher within the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool. Dr Nash is a specialist in Palaeolithic rock art, and gained his doctorate at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. Here, Dr Nash researched engraved and painted hunter-gatherer rock art along coastal Norway and Levantine Spain. Between 1998 and 2016, Dr Nash taught at the University of Bristol and was responsible for the latter part of the part-time degree in archaeology. Dr Nash has undertaken research from many parts of the world and has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles and has edited, co-edited and written 48 books. In 2022, Dr Nash was invited to advise and participate in a six-part television series that dealt with the movement of early modern humans in Europe and the rock art they produced. Dr Nash is currently part of the First Art team, undertaking fieldwork in the caves and rock shelters of Spain and Portugal.

    Sara Garcês is a Rock Art researcher, Pos-Doc Fellow and a Guest Assistant Professor at Polytechnic Institute of Tomar. She is also a researcher of the Geosciences Centre of University of Coimbra (u. ID73 – FCT), and Earth and Memory Institute (ITM) in Portugal. Dr Garcês is a specialist in post-Paleolithic rock art of Iberian Peninsula and gained her doctorate at Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro University in Portugal. Dr. Garcês is engaged with paintings and engravings 2D and 3D tracing and several multidisciplinary research projects across Iberian Peninsula, UK, Israel and Brazil. Her research also focusses on archaeological rock art pigments analyses both in caves and open-air contexts. Her doctoral research is based on the prehistoric rock art of Tagus River Basin. Dr. Garcês has authored 3 books on Tagus rock art and has written papers in several national and international journals.

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