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Heritage 2019, 2(1), 39-55; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010004

Depictions of Shoeprints in Northwest Portugal

1
FCT—UMINHO/BI/317/2018—Lab2pt/University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2
Landscape, Heritage and Territory Laboratory—Lab2PT, Department of History, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 24 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heritage and Territory)
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Abstract

From the end of the 3rd millennium and the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE, new motifs appear in Northwest Portugal. This corresponds to what one of the authors has called Figurative Art. The engravings of human feet—barefoot or with shoes—fall within this new “style”. This motif is not well known in Northern Portugal, although it has recently been the subject of a synthesis study on the Atlantic façade of this region. Starting from an inventory work, contextualising the several scales of analysis and the theoretical posture that knowledge is simultaneously cumulative and interpretative, this text reveals the shoeprints existing in Northwest Portugal and the interpretations that have been made about them. Currently there are 81 shoeprints in the region, distributed on 18 outcrops, in 17 different sites. This study has made it possible to create two typological subgroups, namely shoeprints with simple soles and with sole and heel. Within each group it was possible to perceive the existence of places with only one or few shoeprints, versus places with many shoeprints and that there are shoeprints of different dimensions and different orientations. The analysis of this data has made it possible to hypothesise that the engraving of these motifs may have arisen at the end of the Chalcolithic, beginning of the Bronze Age, reaching its peak during the latter period and ending at the beginning of the Iron Age. It is also hypothesised that they represent different age groups and that they may relate to pilgrimages or trips that formed part of rites of passage to adulthood, probably of individuals of higher status within a hierarchised society and which occurred at certain times of year, especially during the summer. View Full-Text
Keywords: Northwest Portugal; shoeprints; contexts; chronologies; meanings Northwest Portugal; shoeprints; contexts; chronologies; meanings
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Moreira, J.; Bettencourt, A.M.S. Depictions of Shoeprints in Northwest Portugal. Heritage 2019, 2, 39-55.

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