Landmark of the past in the Antequera megalithic landscape: A multi-disciplinary approach to the Matacabras rock art shelter

Publication date: July 2018Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 95
Author(s): Miguel Ángel Rogerio-Candelera, Primitiva Bueno Ramírez, Rodrigo de Balbín-Behrmann, M. Isabel Dias, Leonardo García Sanjuán, Mathilda Larsson Coutinho, José Antonio Lozano Rodríguez, Ana Z. Miller, Alistair W. Pike, Christopher D. Standish, M. Isabel Prudêncio, Ana Luísa Rodrigues, José María De la Rosa Arranz, Diego Gaspar
The background of this paper is the biographical relationship between the Menga dolmen and La Peña de los Enamorados mountain (a conspicuous and highly-recognisable natural formation), both part of the Antequera megalithic landscape. Our main aim is to provide a high-resolution characterisation of the Matacabras rock art shelter, located on the northern side of La Peña de los Enamorados. This is achieved through a photogrammetric topographic survey, a detailed assessment of the graphic motifs identified through the use of digital image processing and various types of physical and chemical analysis, a geo-chemical characterisation of pottery found on its surface, and a comparative stylistic analysis of its motifs. Our study suggests that Matacabras (and the site of Piedras Blancas I, located just below it), played an important role in the genesis of Menga, which perhaps makes it the most important rock art location of Spanish Late Prehistory.

Graphical abstract