The Côa Battle
In 1998, in the fastest classification process ever, UNESCO included the Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley in the World Heritage List. The justification, in the form of classification criteria, was twofold:
The Upper Paleolithic rock art of the Côa Valley is an exceptional illustration of the sudden development of our creative genius during the dawn of human cultural development;
The rock art of the Côa Valley exceptionally demonstrates the social, economic and spiritual life of our prehistoric ancestors.
With this resolution, this international organization confirmed not only the relevance of the rock art finds but also the pertinence of the Portuguese government’s decision to cancel the dam and protect in situ, that is, where they were made, where they made sense to their creators, and where they were found, the Côa engravings.