In the early 1990s rock engravings were discovered in Vila Nova de Foz Côa during the construction of a dam in the Côa River valley. They include thousands of engraved rock drawings of horses, bovines and other animals, human and abstract figures, dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years B.C. The sites were reviewed by archaeologists and other specialists of UNESCO and other agencies. Public support grew, both within Portugal and internationally, for preservation of the archaeological artifacts and rock paintings. In 1995 elections led to a change in government resulting in the cancellation of the dam project. (Full article...)
The conjugation of the new field colours, especially the use of green, was not traditional in the Portuguese national flag's composition and represented a radical republican-inspired change that broke the bond with the former monarchical flag. Since a failed republican insurrection on 31 January 1891, red and green had been established as the colours of the Portuguese Republican Party and its associated movements, whose political prominence kept growing until it reached a culmination period following the Republican revolution of 5 October 1910. In the ensuing decades, these colours were popularly propagandised as representing the hope of the nation (green) and the blood of those who died defending it (red), as a means to endow them with a more patriotic and dignified, therefore less political, sentiment. (Full article...)
Image 20The arrival of the Portuguese in Japan, the first Europeans who managed to reach it, initiating the Nanban ("southern barbarian") period of active commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West. (from History of Portugal)
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A Lusitano horse
The Lusitano, also known as the Pure Blood Lusitano or PSL (Puro Sangue Lusitano), is a Portuguesehorse breed. Horses were known to be present on the Iberian Peninsula as far back as 20,000 BC, and by 800 BC the region was renowned for its war horses. The fame of the horses from Lusitania goes back to the Roman Age, which attributed its speed to the influence of the West wind, who was considered capable of fertilizing the mares. When the Muslims invaded Iberia in 711 AD, they brought Arabian horses with them that were crossed with the native horses, developing a horse that became useful for war, dressage and bull fighting. The Portuguese horse was named the Lusitano, after the word Lusitania, the ancient Roman name for the region that modern Portugal occupies. There are four main breed lineages within the breed today, and characteristics differ slightly between each line.
Lusitanos can be any solid color, although they are generally gray, bay or chestnut. Horses of the Alter Real strain are always brown. Members of the breed are of Baroque type, with convex facial profiles, heavy muscling, intelligent and willing natures, with agile and elevated movement. Originally bred for war, dressage and bullfighting, Lusitanos are still used today in the latter two. They have competed in several Olympics and World Equestrian Games as part of the Portuguese and Spanish dressage teams. They have also made a showing in driving competitions, with a Belgian team of Lusitanos winning multiple international titles. (Full article...)
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