Ancient sculptures: a form of parietal art
Ancient sculptures: a form of parietal art

Ancient sculptures in the Pyrenees

Parietal art

Parietal art is the archaeological term for artwork done on cave walls or large blocks of stone.

It refers to cave paintings, drawings, etchings, carvings, and pecked artwork.

For more information please read the wikipedia article about parietal art.

Ancient sculpture

➔ An ancient scupture is located near the historical thermal station of Fontaines d’Escot and right next to a water spring.

Carved in stone by the celts the sculpture has then been christianised by the romans during the occupation of the Aspe valley; therefore it is harder to understand its full meaning today.

This beautiful sculpture includes 4 elements: a moon, a feminine figure, a chi-ro and a stairway.

The woman

It looks like the woman is giving birth.

The fact that celts and romans used to think that hot water springs were the birth waters of Mother Earth supports this idea.

The woman would therefore represent fertility.

Another theory is that women used to give birth in this 27 degrees water.

Check the Wikipedia page Mother Earth for more information.

The chi-ro

The chi-ro is one of the earliest cruciform symbols used by Christians.

The chi-ro at Fontaines d’Escot has the letter S carved in it, which could be a reference to the Order of Santiago.

You will also see a similar chi-ro at the cathedral of Oloron and of Jaca in Spain.

The stairway

The stairway occupies the middle part of the sculpture.

The stairway is said to represent Saint James Way.

Path going down to the ancient thermal station and the sculpture
Path going down to the ancient thermal station and the sculpture