Studies focusing on Palaeolithic portable rock art have a long tradition in Europe. Nevertheless, they tend to only focus over formal and stylistic criteria of the motifs, important as they provide chronologies for cave art. This article proposes a multiple approach to a sample of 25 engraved plaques of the Foz do Medal archaeological site, where horses and aurochs were depicted, in order to construct a preliminary model able to guide the future analysis of the whole collection composed of more than 1500 fragments. On the one hand, relevant archaeological data was collected and systematized into a database that can be subjected to statistical analysis, for which we develop different variables and their respective attributes. On the other hand, laboratory techniques of analysis and examination of materials were applied, valuing the motifs details, their potential surface treatment by fire or pigments ornamentation, as well as the identification of raw materials and their origins. In this article, we present the obtained results, which allow us to propose some hypotheses regarding the social importance of this specific kind of artefact, as well as its possible manipulations.
Portable art, Magdalenian, Sabor valley, Northwest Iberia, microscopic analysis