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|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
The Dance of Cogul. Tracing by Henri Breuil.
|Location||El Cogul, Garrigues, Province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain|
|Part of||Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula|
|Inscription||1998 (22nd session)|
The Roca dels Moros or Caves of El Cogul is a rock shelter containing paintings of prehistoric Levantine rock art. The site is in El Cogul, in the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. Since 1998 the paintings have been protected as part of the Rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inscriptions in Northeastern Iberian script and in Latin alphabet indicate that the place was used as a sanctuary into Iberian and Roman times.
The Caves of El Cogul are a rock shelter in El Cogul in the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. In 1908 paintings of prehistoric Levantine rock art were discovered by the village rector, Ramon Huguet, and a report was published in the same year. The first prehistorians to study the paintings, such as Henri Breuil and Juan Cabré, took the view that Levantine rock art belonged to the palaeolithic. There is now[when?] a consensus that the paintings are post-palaeolithic, although uncertainty persists as to their date. Since 1998 the paintings have been protected as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (reference 874). Near the paintings is a cemetery with tombs carved into the rock. Inscriptions in Northeastern Iberian script and in Latin alphabet, one of which is an ex-voto, indicate that the use of the caves as a sanctuary extended to Iberian and Roman times.
At Roca dels Moros there are forty-five figures depicted, of which thirty-eight are painted bright red, black and dark red, seven are engraved in stone. A dance scene is the most famous of the paintings: Nine women are depicted, something new in Spanish art. Some are painted in black and others in red. They dance around a small male figure at the center with an abnormally large phallus. Along with humans, there are several animals.
Conservation work has been carried out on the paintings under the auspices of the Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya. There is now a visitors centre to interpret the site and to promote Cogul in the context of a "route of rock art", linking it to similar sites in Catalonia such as Abrics de l'Ermita at Ulldecona.