ROCK ART

The province of Castellón features a unique concentration of rock art locations in the Mediterranean basin.

The caves and shelters, where those extraordinary artworks can be found, are integrated in places featuring spectacular landscapes, located from the mountain range of the coastline to the inner mountain area.

Those artistic representations are a vivid testimony of the human past in these lands. The main part of them fit within the so-called Levantine Rock Art whose technical and stylistic characteristics make it unique.  In 1998 they were inscribed on Unesco World Heritage list.

In addition, the core of the paintings of la Valltorta-Gasulla has been recently declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.

In the area of Castellón the scenes of hunting or battles are particularly abundant and amazing.

The Levantine Rock Art

The Levantine Rock Art is a testimony of the crucial stage of development the human being lived by means of paintings, which are unique on their kind for their style and basic themes. The numerous locations spread out along the Mediterranean coastline of the Peninsula end up forming an ensemble of outstanding importance, becoming the main concentration of Rock Art in Europe.

If we consider them an ensemble, small and hardly noticeable local variations can be distinguished. For instance, in the area of Castellón, scenes of hunting or battle made up of humans are particularly abundant and amazing.

The paintings are usually found in shallow shelters at open air on the front walls or on the ceilings. The figures are usually simple silhouettes, sketched with lines that may be extraordinarily thin and more or less filled in with pigment. The predominant colours are red, black and, to a lesser extent, white and yellow.

What is truly extraordinary in those representations is their dynamism, scenes full of life with human and animal ensembles. These scenes can be considered the first narrations in European Prehistory, and provide us with very important information on the activities, habits and way of life at that time: individual or group tasks, scenes of tracking, chasing and hunting animals. Confrontations between rival groups, gathering, bee-keeping, etc.

SIAP. Servicio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Prehistóricas. Diputación de Castellón siap@dipcas.es | © Los autores
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