see also Rock Art in the Alps - Rock Art in Valtellina
in Italiano
Copper Age

The stelae and the engraved menhirs in the Alpine Arc (Aosta - Sion - Valtellina - Valcamonica - Arco - Laces...) represent the masterpieces of Copper Age Rock Art. Always engraved with care and precision, they show archaeological objects (daggers and axes) which can be easily dated to the Chalcolithic (Copper Age) period. With other typical elements (deers, dogs, sun figures, anthropomorphic figures, necklaces) they have been engraved in a precise order, showing perhaps a religious intent.

We can find male (with weapons), female (with cloth-like decorations) and child stelae.

  • The Tirano-Lovero stele (on the left) was found in 1981 at Lovero, probably taken away from Tirano. Different kinds of axes have been engraved on the left, the sun on the top, a knife with its scabbard in the middle, 5 chamois on the right, and 5 parallel ondulated lines on the bottom, probably representing a belt.
  • Stele n. 3 of Caven (on the right) was found in 1940 in a terraced vineyard. It is called the "Dea madre" (mother goddess), while most probably representing some female attributes. The circles on the top have been interpreted as a sun representation: it is perhaps more suitable to recognize some vestment decorations. The same interpretation would be appropriate for the lower elements. The double spirals on the right have been found also as archaeological objects (brooches or buckles). The female attributes are in this case very clear.

Almost all Copper Age engravings (here and in Valcamonica) have been executed on vertical surfaces (natural boulders or worked stelae).

  1. Home
  2. Neolithic and first Copper Age
  3. Copper Age
  4. Bronze Age
  5. Iron Age
  6. Rupe Magna, the largest engraved rock in the Alps
  7. Rupe Magna, chrono-thematic plate


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© Andrea Arcà 30-Jun-96,09:27:58

by Footsteps of Man
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