Visit to the Museum
The vast open-air rock art collection of the Côa Valley, which sets aside the old myth of Paleolithic art enclosed in caves, can be appreciated in the Museum’s exhibition through portable art originals, replicas of engraved panels and interactive information resorting to modern digital technologies.
At the Côa Valley Museum, the absence of a significant amount of original materials liable to be exposed in the museum building – except for a few selected pieces – highlights the archaeological sites themselves as the true objects of reference using current exhibition formats and vocabularies.
The Côa Valley Museum does not fit in a traditional museology approach made of ‘collections’. The rock art collection lies outside in the Côa Valley.
The adopted solution clearly indicates the change of function and motivation in the use of imagery from the engravings and sites in the Côa Valley in an environment created for new readings and media uses.
The exhibition area is divided into several rooms:
Highlights the Côa as a World Heritage Site, offering a panoramic view of the valley and its rock art.
Illustrates the long geological process of landscape formation detailing the ancestral way of life in the Côa Valley, exhibiting some of the stone tools recovered in the excavation of Paleolithic human occupation sites in the region.
Discusses rock art explanation theories giving special consideration to the specific characteristics of the Côa Valley art.
Offers an interactive exploration of the archaic sanctuary located in the ample natural amphitheatre formed by the Penascosa and Quinta da Barca sites.
Showcases a replica of Rock 1 of Fariseu (one of the most important panels in the Côa with more than 80 engraved motifs) and the portable art also from the Upper Paleolithic unearthed during the excavation of this site.
Analyzes the history behind the discovery of the engravings also addressing the rock art of more recent periods, such as the Iron Age. In addition to rock 1 of Fariseu, there are more rock art panels replicas on display, chosen for their importance, but also inaccessibility.
The three temporary exhibition rooms have presented various contemporary exhibitions of photography, painting, sculpture, engraving or drawing that in one way or another intended to honor or evoke the art of the prehistoric engravers.
The Côa Museum offers to the general public different types of guided tours (see Educational Services for school visits), such as:
Meeting point guided visit
3 daily visits with starting hours set according to seasonal opening hours
Guided visits for organized groups, and other activities and special visits
For example, Behind the scenes at the Museum in different dates
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