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The archaeological context of Levantine rock art in the north of the Valencian Country. A chronological approach based on regional cultural processes.
Josep Casabó  1@  
1 : Generalitat Valenciana  (GVA)
Direcció Territorial de Cultura A. del Mar, 23 12003 Castelló -  Espagne

After more than a hundred years of the discovery of Levantine art, and when we celebrate the centenary of the discovery of La Valltorta and Morella la Vella, the chronological question continues to condition, when not poisoning, all fields of research. In the absence of absolute chronology, which I hope will be common in the next few years, the chronology of Levantine art has been addressed from various research lines that try to infer the age of these artistic manifestations from indirect data not free of contradictions, and therefore subject to scientific criticism.

From the very moment of their discovery, prehistorians have tried to infer the age of the Levantine artistic style by various means. The study of the stratigraphic contexts of the deposits was the first option tested, when this proved unviable, the analysis of the nearby archaeological context was chosen, which provided useful but not conclusive information. The chromatic stratigraphy and the stylistic studies have come to improve the knowledge of the different phases of the Levantine style and its chronological relation with other different artistic manifestations. Despite the strength of some evidence suggesting a Neolithic age,
we continue without finding definitive and universally accepted arguments.

The proposal that we present part of a simple hypothesis. If the Levantine artistic style shows such exclusive characteristics and so clearly differentiated from other types of better dated prehistoric art, that rupture must be traced in the global cultural processes that are identified in a regional context. Starting from this hypothesis, these processes are studied from the end of the Upper Paleolithic to the Neolithic end in the north of the Valencian Country and in the middle and lower basin of the Ebro River.

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