The Set, a tributary of the Segre, is the largest river in the region. It rises in the heart of the Sierra de Llena, the highest mountains in the area, but because of the arid continental climate, it is dry for much of the year. Its valley goes through Vilosell, la Pobla de Cérvoles, L'Albi, Cervià, L'Albagés and El Cogul. The scenery is dominated by olive trees and almond trees across the whole area, which is dry except in a few particular places.
Regional Archaeological Context:
The region is very rich archaeologically as it has been inhabited almost continuously since the Palaeolithic.
The local inhabitants knew of the paintings and attributed them to ancient Muslim populations. In the early 20th century, they became known to prehistorians and Roca dels Moros was acknowledged as one of the most important rock-art sites in Iberia. This stimulated further research into rock-art in the region. Archaeological excavations have confirmed that the site was used as a place of worship, and was never occupied for any length of time by the groups who used it.
Archaeological evidence at the site:
The cave was used for some 5000 years, from 7000 to 100 BC approximately. The different paintings and engravings visible today are evidence of this use. The first groups to visit Roca dels Moros were the last hunter-gatherers (7th-5th millennia BC) who left Levantine paintings. Later, from the 5th to the 2nd millennia BC, Neolithic groups represented some of their beliefs in a very different, Schematic style. Among this art, there are also inscriptions from the Iberian and Roman periods, although many of them are illegible.
42 figures have been identified at Roca dels Moros, 7 of them engraved in the rock and 35 painted in light red, black and dark red. In addition there are a further 260 engraved marks.
The paintings and engravings occupy the central and upper part of a rock-shelter 10m long, 3m deep and 4m high, which was used for some 5000 years. Of the 42 paintings, 16 are human figures, 19 are animals and the other 7 are unidentified. The colours range from orange to brown, including different shades of pink, red and violet.
The most interesting group is in the lower right-hand part of the wall and consists of female figures surrounding a male whose sex is emphasized. The women, with skirts and naked torsos are grouped in pairs. This composition is unique in Levantine rock art, and has been interpreted as a ritual “phallic dance”, although the technical characteristics of the figures indicates they have been repainted, possibly at different times.
Neolithic / Bronze Age. Taking into account the style of the figures and the results of the excavations in the rock-shelter, this ensemble of paintings can be dated in a long period, between 7000 and 100 BC.
Type of Site: Rock-Shelters
Adress: Road from El Cogul to Albagés, Km. 1 25152 El Cogul (Les Garrigues-Lleida)
Telephone: 934 246 577
Fax: 934 245 630
Province: Lleida / les Garrigues
Municipality: El Cogul
Town: El Cogul
Location: Roca dels Moros
Booking and access:
Catalonia Archaeological Museum.
Nearby cultural destinations:
Rock art in La Vall de la Coma and L’Albi Castle.
Els Vilars in Arbeca (Iberian settlement).
Borges Blanques Archaeological Museum.
Juneda Ethnological and Archaeological Museum.
Nearby natural destinations:
Bessons Natural Area.
Accommodation near the site:
Hotel la Garbinada
C/ Major, 9. Granyena de les Garrigues
Tel. 973 136 275
Pl. de la Constitució, 21-23
Les Borges Blanques
Tel. 973 142 318
Residencia-Casa de Payés Cal Pastor
C de les Roques, 7. La Pobla de Cérvoles
Tel. 973 175 124 / 659 659 578
Hotel les Garrigues
C de la Pobla, 60. La Granadella.
Tel. 973 133 612
Restaurants near the site:
Restaurant La Garbinada
Pl. Catalunya, 3. Granyena
Tel. 973 136 275
Bar-Restaurant La Cooperativa
C. del Raval, 1, 1r. Granyena
Tel. 973 136 151
Restaurant El Casal
Passeig de les Garrigues, 12. Albagés
Tel. 973 121 016
El Cogu Recreation Centre
Pl. de la Vila, 10. El Cogul
Tel. 973 120 110
UNESCO World Heritage Site