When I was a kid, I used to love the Indiana Jones movies. Of course, the movie series does not portray archaeologists right and I kind of agree with Amy from BigBangTheory. But I still have a thing for discovery and learning, so every once in a while I try to visit a museum (the British Museum is in my top ten). So, when RockArtRoll invited us to visit one of the biggest collections on Rock Art in all Europe, I had to be in.
The route would take us to Ponte Caldelas and Cotobade, near the city of Pontevedra (a must visit in the area). The theme: the prehistoric hunt of the deer.
Touron Rock Art Site
We started the route at Touron, a small village with an open air (and free access) 150.000 square meters area that includes many petroglyphs, a small forest and some amazing views of the region.
The site has a small building with information about the history of the site, some replicas of the pieces found here and in some other prehistoric sites in Galicia. Our route would go through different archaeological stations: Outeiro da Forcadela, Coto das Sombriñas, Laxe das Cruces and Coto da Siribela, where we would visit some game, people and horses (all on the rocks.)
We were lucky enough not to have a sunny day. The early rains and the fog helped us to see the figures on the rocks more easily.
It was amazing. We were there with a group of (real) archaeologists that were discussing whether the Bronze Age people used to adore the Sun or not, whether a figure was a horse or a game (and why)…
Each drawing would come up with a new theory, a curated discussion and a funny story behind. Rock by rock, we were learning how to read information on the rock.
By the end of the route we had seen deers mating, fighting, eating, being hunt…
Then, the team at RockArtRoll decided we should learn how to hunt them. Well, we wouldn’t have survived the Bronze Age. We tried with spears and arrows but we couldn’t hit a deer that was in front of us (actually, the poster of a deer they had printed for the occasion.)
Cotobade: A Laxe das Ferraduras
We left Touron behind and moved to the town of Cotobade. We would be visiting one of the best known and most studied stones in Galicia: A Laxe das Ferraduras
There is a replica at nearby Campo Lameiro site, but you we visited the original rock (not many road signs as it is inside a private property).
The Rock has different areas. On top of it, the deer steps you can see above. They look like some game stepped on fresh concrete, but they were carved on the stone by prehistoric hands.
On the side, a complex petroglyph with human figures (armed), god-like figures and deer on a hunting scene. Which is the reason why the rock is quite famous for prehistoric art specialists.
After all of these we were hungry (and a bit cold, it was starting to rain again) so we headed to the town to eat something. It was a great experience. Best? Being lead by archaeologists and able to see the drawings at first sight. Worst? I got a cold (mostly my fault.)