A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Construction of the Foz Côa Dam, which threatened to inundate more than 150 Palaeolithic engravings in northeastern Portugal, has been halted. Completion of the dam, scheduled for 1998, would have submerged 22,000-year-old engravings of horses, ibex, and wild cattle under 300 feet of water (see ARCHAEOLOGY, July/August 1995). Newly elected prime minister Antonio Guterres suspended work on the dam early last November, stating that its construction would be abandoned if the rock art's importance were confirmed. On November 17 seven cabinet ministers visited the site and concluded that it was significant. The government has designated the Côa Valley an archaeological park and will build the dam farther downstream.