The discovery of the Côa Valley rock art complex is one of the most outstanding events in world prehistoric archaeology research within the last decades.
Its importance in understanding human prehistoric past places the Côa Valley in the same league as other emblematic Upper Paleolithic art sites such as, for instance, the well-known caves at Altamira and Parpalló, in Spain, and Lascaux, Rouffignac, Cosquer and Chauvet, in France.
Thanks to the Côa rock art complex, parietal art acquired visibility and a scientific status unimaginable some 20 years ago. Sites as Siega Verde and Domingo Garcia, in Spain, and Mazouco, in Portugal, gained new scientific relevance when regarded and analyzed within the vaster context of which the Côa is the epicenter.
In fact, research on the Côa Valley complex gave a fresh impulse to rock art studies patent in the discovery, in the last decade, of new Upper Paleolithic rock art sites in the valleys of the Sabor, Douro, Zêzere, Ocreza and Guadiana rivers, all located in Portugal.
Meanwhile, the Escoural cave (Montemor-o-Novo), discovered in 1963, remains the only grotto in Portugal where Upper Paleolithic rock art has been identified.