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Balcón de Forniellos I (Salvatierra de Escá, Zaragoza, Spain): towards a chronocultural assignment for a new naturalistic tendency motif in the western pre-Pyrenees
Manuel Bea Martínez  1, *@  , Paloma Lanau Hernáez  1, *@  , Pilar Utrilla Miranda  1, *@  , Mario Gisbert León  2, *@  
1 : Universidad de Zaragoza
2 : Centro de Espeleología de Aragón
* : Corresponding author

Prospecting works carried out by the Centro de Espeleología de Aragón from 2007 to 2009 in the pre-Pyrenean western ranges led to the discovery of a new rock art group in the Sierra de Beldún mountain range. Sierra de Beldún is located in the Northwestern part of the province of Zaragoza, in the region of Aragón. The area where the motifs were depicted presents a steep landscape, where deep gullies dissect the mountain and make displacements very difficult. On the other hand, it is very close to the Canal de Berdún depression, which constitutes a major transit point between several Pyrenean valleys. Most of the discovered paintings were considered as representations belonging to the post-Paleolithic Schematic style. The motifs include fingerprint groups, stick figures and various types of anthropomorphs and abstract motifs, painted with red or black pigments and distributed in twelve different sites. However, the motifs depicted in one of the shelters don't match the characteristics corresponding to the Schematic rock paintings. The Balcón de Forniellos I shelter contains some figures whose chronocultural or stylistic assignment is not easy to establish. One of those motifs, interpreted as an animal head, cannot be clearly assigned to any traditional styles: Paleolithic or Post-Paleolithic (Levantine or Schematic). Can we point out a sort of new artistic cycle characterised by a naturalistic tendency on its depiction and, despite that, different from those other already referred? Is it a singularity? And, in that case, according to chronological, cultural or geographical context? Finally, in the nearby environment of the paintings group, several sepulchral caves were found. All this emphasises the symbolic significance of this place.

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