Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of Pala Pinta

The Prehistoric Rock-Art Site Pala Pinta (Portuguese: Abrigo rupestre da Pala Pinta) is a Paleolithic-era rock-art site, recognized for cave paintings in the Portuguese municipality of Alijó, in the civil parish of Carlão e Amieiro.[1]

Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of Pala Pinta
LocationVila Real, Douro, Norte, Portugal
TypePrehistoric art
Site notes
OwnershipPortuguese Republic
Public accessPrivate Carlão, from the municipal road until Franzilhal


The cave was occupied during the 3rd millennium, and the rock art paintings were likely created during this period.[2][3][4]

After its discovery, on 30 December 1985, there was a move by the Serviço Regional de Arqueologia da Zona Norte (North Zone Regional Archaeological Service) to have the site classified for protection.[2][3] There was a positive reaction on 21 April 1986 to the endeavour by the Consultative Council of IPPC. Further initiatives were undertaken on 7 May by the Secretária de Estado da Cultura (Secretary-of-State for Culture) to classify the archaeological site as a National Monument.[2] Although this was never promulgated, on 18 July 2006, the area was defined as a Zona Especial de Classificação (Special Classification Zone) by the DRPorto.[2]


It was situated in an isolated, rural area in the middle of the hilltop facing the east.[2][3]

The site includes rock-art paintings over granite surface, covering an area of 12 metres (39 ft) long and 2.50 metres (8.2 ft) high.[2][3] There roughly two vertical panels, caused by fractures in the cave/clifftop, consisting of monochromatic paintings in ochre of radial imagery (likely sun or stars), points and anthropomorphic representations of figures.[2][3]



  1. "Abrigo rupestre da Pala Pinta". (in Portuguese). Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  2. Sereno, Isabel; Teixeira, Ricardo (1993). SIPA (ed.). "Abrigo rupestre da Pala Pinta (IPA.00005708/PT011701030007)" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA–Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  3. Martins, A. (2011). IGESPAR (ed.). "Abrigo rupestre da Pala Pinta" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: IGESPAR-Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. Sousa (1989)


  • Mesquita, Horácio de; Correia, Virgílio (1922), "Arte rupestre em Portugal - A Pala Pinta", Terra Portuguesa (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 145–147
  • Junior, Joaquim Rodrigues dos Santos (1933), "O abrigo pré-histórico da Pala Pinta", Trabalhos de Antropologia e Etnologia (in Portuguese), Porto, Portugal, pp. 33–43
  • Sousa, Orlando (1989), "O Abrigo de Arte Rupestre da Pala Pinta - Alijó", Trabalhos de Antropologia e Etnologia (in Portuguese), Porto, Portugal, pp. 191–198
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