Vale do Côa Archaeological Park is located in the northernmost area of the Guarda district, in the region known as Alto Douro, Portugal. There are over 80 sites with Rock Art and about 1200 engraved rocks located in the final stretch of the Côa river, in a territory of about 200 km2, covering areas of the municipalities of Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Pinhel and Mêda.


This extraordinary collection of Rock Art works is distributed along two main river axes: the Côa river, about 30 km long, and the Douro river, about 15 km long. As a result of the recognition of the heritage and cultural interest of this set of findings, the Vale do Côa Archaeological Park was created on 10 August 1996 with the main goal of managing, protecting, investigating and showing the public rock art.


The Côa River Valley is a unique place in the world for presenting artistic manifestations of various moments of Prehistory, Protohistory and History, and home of the most important set of open-air paleolithic figurations known to date. Until its identification in the middle of the last decade of the XX century, it was supposed that the oldest artistic expression of humanity was confined to the underground world of caves. It is now hypothesized that outdoor art was more common. But the various erosive agents and human activity itself over the millennia have prevented much of it from reaching the present time.


Hence the importance of the Côa Valley, with its well preserved archaeological sites. The vast majority of Rock Art motifs, of all chronologies, are located in shale rocks, taking advantage of the way the Lower Côa geological evolution has exposed smooth vertical panels suitable for engraving, as a result of fluvial fitting and tectonic fracturing processes. However, at Núcleo de Arte Rupestre da Faia (Cidadelhe, Pinhel), which is located in the southernmost area of the Côa Valley Archaeological Park, we can still find engravings and paintings on granite.


The latter have survived to this day in the shelters that the granitic rock substrate sometimes forms, unlike shale. Although there is no cave art in the Côa Valley, as these geological phenomena do not form on terrain with the above features, the existence of these granitic shelters allowed the survival of painted motifs, some of the paleolithic period. Thus, it is correct to state that in the Côa Valley there are, in much greater quantity, rock engravings and, in a smaller number, rock paintings.


A Rocha 3 of the Rock Art Center of Quinta da Barca, presents one of the most artistic compositions of all the Côa. A two-headed goat is the dominant and emblematic figure, with two heads and their ringed horns (typical of the Iberian ibex) in perfect symmetry, represented with such sensitivity and plastic rigor by the Paleolithic hunters.

Artists need to interpret “A Rocha 3”

in the most creative way possible!




Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2020;


All national and international artists are invited to participate in the “A Rocha 3” Mail Art Open Call, which will be held from January 1st until March 31 of 2020. The exhibition is organized by A Casa ao Lado — Centro Artístico, in partnership with the Côa Museum, Portugal, and will be exhibited in different places in national and international territory. With the promise of thousands of visitors (artists and the general public) the project will try to promote the various art forms received in postcard format. “A Rocha 3” aims to challenge artists to create a new image from the two-headed goat engraving. A matrix of the two-headed goat will be provided as reference (see attached file). After the exhibitions, a digital catalog will be made with images of each artist's work, as well as photographs of each event. Each artist will receive by email an event catalog.


Artwork Size: 10cm x 15cm


Reproductions or photocopies will not be accepted: signed original works only.


All techniques will be accepted.


Please include name, address, email and technique used on the back of each postcard.


Each artist can submit up to 4 works.


Postcards will not be returned.


There is no amount to pay for participation in this project.


Participants will have the opportunity to see their postcards displayed at the Interpretive Center for Graphic Arts-Labyrinth of Arts, V.N.Famalicão, at the Côa Museum, V.N.Foz Côa, at the CMA, New York, among others.

After the traveling exhibition, participants will receive a digital catalog, with photographs of all exhibition venues.


Submitting a Postcard

Each artist must send their work individually through the post office.


Artwork sent by email will not be accepted.



Adress for artwork submission:


A CASA AO LADO – Centro Artístico

Rua Drº Francisco Alves, 1058 4770-435

Requião, Vila Nova de Famalicão


Download postcard

of participation


  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Rua Dr. Francisco Alves 1058 ,  4770-435  Requião ,  Vila Nova de Famalicão , Portugal     |    |    252 115 448 -  934 841 129