The cave was excavated by L. Pericot between 1922 and 1931. The resulting stratigraphical record, which was recently revised, shows a timeline of occupation extending from the end of the Gravettian period, through the entire Solutrean period to the Mediterranean Upper Magdalenian, indicating a time interval approximately ranging from 28,000 years to 11,000 years before the present.
"The next period, identified as the Solutrean (21,000 – 16,500 years before the present) includes the time said to be the peak of Parpalló mobile art. It is the phase when artistic expression and originality are at a maximum. This phenomenon, as it happens, can be generalised for all Palaeolithic art south of the River Ebro. No-one knows why this is so, but it could be due to the concentration of Palaeolithic communities in this area, which was likely an area of refuge from the worsening climate conditions that occurred at the height of the last ice age.
Accordingly, more than 150 plates have been dated to the Lower Solutrean (± 21,000 years before the present).
More than 850 decorated pieces were attributed to the Middle Solutrean (± 20,000 – 19,000 years before the present), , - the development of some innovative aspects can be seen, such as the increased variety and complexity of geometric patterns and, above all, the significant increase in the size of the stones on which the engravings and painting are made. That increase in size, reaching half a metre in length in some cases, seems to want to convey the idea that the art of Parpalló wishes to leave its mark in stone.
The Evolved Solutrean (19,000 – 16,500 years before the present) comprises two distinct phases of development. The initial phase (Upper Solutrean), to which 915 pieces are attributed, encompasses a reduction to the size of the stone media, returning to their usual standard, as well as a sharp decrease in the use of the some pictorial elements, especially as regards animation and the representation of scenes. In the final phase of this period, known as the Solutrean-Gravettian, and represented by 558 objects.
The mobile art attributed to the Magdalenian period (16,500 – 11,000 years before the present) can also be divided into different phases, like the art of the previous period.
Hence, in the Lower Magdalenian (16,500 – 14,000 years before the present), the first phase of development (Ancient Magdalenian A) has links to some of the standards and norms of the preceding early Solutrean period i.e. a decrease in pictorial richness (less dynamics and detail, and even the evident regression of pictorial technique) and fewer pieces of art (323 plates). The standards and precepts are again reversed in the final phase of this period (Ancient Magdalenian B). This reversal comprises, in the first instance, an increase in the quantity of figures (671 pieces of art), as well as the establishment of the qualities that come to represent the essential characteristics of art of the late Pleistocene in Europe, i.e. the dominance of representations of animals, realism, respect for proportions and the attention to anatomical details. The Ancient Magdalenian B phase is also noted for the reappearance of geometrical patterns and their increased complexity and diversity.
Finally, the Upper Magdalenian (14,000 – 11,000 years before the present) is represented through 440 objects (including stone plates and engraved bone tools). The trend for naturalist representations in this period entails continuity of the processes initiated in the previous stage." (http://www.arte-coa.pt/)