Today, despite the notable progress on the knowledge about Galician’s carvings, we still lack an updated census of these and, as a result, we do not have adequate information about the precise number or the geographical distribution of the main groups of motifs that make up this artistic phenomenon. In order to tackle this problem, we have gone thr...
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... research confirmed the tendency about the main sites Peña Santos and Vázquez Varela wrote about (1979) and Richard Bradley (1997: 165). The coastal areas (Figure 2), especially the province of Pontevedra and in particular the Rías Baixas -as it can be observed in the map-is the one with a wider number of engravings (1973 out of 3361 in Pontevedra). A Coruña (781 out of 3361) was studied in the recent years by amateurs and professional archaeologists (Fábregas and Rodríguez, 2012; Grupo de Arqueoloxía da Terra de Trasancos, 2009de Trasancos, , 2011). ...
With the aim of offering a first approach to issues of such importance as the number of sites that make up the Gali- cian rock art, their iconographic variability or geographical distribution, we have analysed the official archaeological in- ventory of the Galician autonomous government (Servizo de Arqueoloxía da la Dirección Xeral do Patrimonio Cultural de la Xunta de Galicia). The database obtained was subsequent- ly analyzed by using Geographic Information System and statistical software. The results show how, nowadays, there is a total of 3,374 known petroglyphs unevenly distributed across the Galician territory. Our analysis shows an absolute predominance of geometric motifs over the naturalists, but it also hints at the existence of a remarkable heterogeneity, which becomes patent not only in the density of petroglyphs, but also in the relative frequency of motifs and their tendency to appear or not together on the same panels or with respect to the location of rock art sites on the landscape.
Galician open-air rock art has been often considered as an active element in the configuration of the economic and symbolic signification of prehistoric landscapes. Thus, in the last 20 years, the spatial setting of petroglyphs was analysed and repeatedly linked to the control of certain resource-rich areas or the routes leading into them. Nevertheless, such considerations have frequently sidestepped the importance of the decorated panels perceptibility as a key factor in determining their agency over the landscape. The use of GIS and high-resolution cartography will allow us to make an initial appraisal of such aspect.