Featured posts

The Case of Guelta Oukas, Morocco

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Guelta Oukas

Very recently several petroglyphs at the rock art site of Guelta Oukas in the Anti Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco were severely damaged. However, the mutilation was limited to two panels with mainly depictions of cattle and – moreover – to specific body parts of those zoomorphic images. In this paper I argue that this is not just another case of unwanted vandalism. Instead, I propose that the mutilation at Guelta Oukas could represent an instance of ‘negative’ rock art, involving the desecration of the images.

by Maarten van Hoek Read more

New Anthropomorphic Figures from Jebel Rat

Jebel Rat

Jebel Rat

The plateau at the northern foot of Jebel Rat, in the heart of the High Atlas, Morocco, is a major rock-art centre, mainly known for its numerous petroglyphs of horsemen. There are also large circles (interpreted as round shields, some of them decorated) and weapons like daggers, halberds and axes. The anthropomorphic figures are not so well known. Some of them are similar to the ones present at Oukaimeden and Yagour, while others are typical of this plateau. Those figures are round or oval, their heads drawn with coils or spirals. A number of newly found anthropomorphs are presented in this paper.

by Alessandra Bravin
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Mt. Bego, a rediscovered manuscript

Manuscript

Manuscript

The oldest written document regarding European rock art is stored in the Turin State Archive. It is entitled the Academia de Giardini di Belvedere (the Belvedere Gardens Academy).

The manuscript is a copy made around the mid seventeenth century by Pietro Gioffredo, historian of the Savoy House, on the basis of another manuscript, written by Honorato Lorenzo, dating back to the end of the previous century, around 1591, or a few years later.

by Andrea Arcà

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Rock Art at Ischigualasto, and more …

Cruz Sagrada

This paper discusses several aspects of rock art research in general, using the status of rock art research in the Cuyo region of western Argentina as a pilot study. A number of protected and unprotected rock art sites will be discussed, focussing on four interrelated issues: Issue 1: Have the locations of rock art sites correctly been published? Issue 2: Should rock art sites be accessible for all? Issue 3: Should the location of rock art sites be revealed or not? Issue 4: Do only academics have the right to publish information about rock art?

by Maarten van Hoek

.

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Latmos Mountains (Turkey), endangered rock paintings

Latmos paintings

Baliktas paintings

The living environment of the Latmos Mountains and of its communities are threatened by the deforestation caused by feldspar quarrying. The cultural heritage looks back upon a long history, from the Neolithic period up to the Ottoman Empire. More than 170 sites of rock drawings (6th/5th millennia BC) are known, representing one of the most important discoveries in prehistoric archaeology during the past decades in Anatolia. Television documentaries, newspaper reports, symposia and demonstrations, have not succeeded in preventing the devastation of the landscape… please sign the online petition!

by Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat

Read more

Phaistos, Crete, cup-marks and other signs

Festos150

Phaistos, spiral

Rock art enthusiasts and researchers will be pleasantly surprised while discovering the moderate but diffused presence of Minoan Palaces “rock art”; two main categories are present: mason’s marks and cup-marks – so-called kernoi – all these engraved upon the ashlars limestone blocks of the Minoan Palaces, mainly in the first centuries of the 2nd millennium BC. Some interpretation problems arise, concerning the sacred or practical character of the marks and the use of the kernoi as offering tables or as popular or childish board games. A great concentration of such items may be found at the Phaistos Palace...

by Andrea Arcà



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Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave, grand opening!

Lion head

Lion head

After only 30 months of work, the opening of the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave to the public is scheduled for Saturday 25 April 2015: don’t miss it! It’s the largest cave replica ever built worldwide, ten times bigger than the Lascaux facsimile. All geological and archaeological features, such as paintings and engravings, are reproduced full-size in an underground environment identical to the original one. Visitors’ senses will be stimulated by the same sensations of silence, obscurity, temperature, humidity and acoustics, carefully reproduced.

by Andrea Arcà

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Signs of Infinity at Aït Ouazik, Southern Morocco

Aït Ouazik

Aït Ouazik

Aït Ouazik is a renowned and – fortunately – protected  petroglyph site in the eastern part of the Anti Atlas Mountains, Morocco. The current paper focuses on continuous loop patterns in this area and explores their possible parallels in the rock art of NW Africa. Although the focus in this paper is on only a few specific petroglyph panels, Aït Ouazik has much more to offer. In order to give a more complete impression of the site and its petroglyphs, the paper is enriched by a YouTube video.

by Maarten van Hoek

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Chenal shelter, six thousand years of iconography

Chenal shelter

Chenal shelter

The oldest post-Palaeolithic engravings of the Alps, 5th millennium BC, reveal many contact points with the ancient megalithic art of Brittany. We publish here the complete paper related to the Montjovet-Chenal shelter, Aosta valley; Italian version, with short English abstract and all-sectors tracings. Full text-image searchable flip book (Flash plugin needed). The low-res PDF is also available.

by A. Arcà, D. Daudry, A. Fossati, F. Morello, L. Raiteri

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Reflecting (on) Petroglyphs: Two Cases

diaguita

Parque Diaguita

Two instances of special petroglyph manifestations in Namibia (Twyfelfontein Valley) and Peru (Virú Valley), having very limited visibility, will be discussed in this paper.
Dos casos de manifestaciones especiales de petroglifos en Namibia (Valle de Twyfelfontein) y Perú (Valle de Virú), que demuestran de tener una visibilidad muy limitada, serán discutidos en este documento.

by Maarten van Hoek


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Magura Cave paintings, Bulgarian rock art

Sun figure

Situated in north-western Bulgaria, and managed by the Belogradchik municipality, the Magura cave (Пещера МАГУРА) is, with the Porto Badisco cave (south Italy), the most important European post-Palaeolithic painted cave. Hundreds of dark brown figures are diffused along an astonishing underground Art Gallery: hunting, dancing and mating scenes, bi-triangular female silhouettes, axes, solar symbols… a prehistoric iconographic treasure which definitely deserves a special attention. [Text and photogallery]

by Andrea ARCÀ

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CAA 2015, computer and rock art studies

CAA2015_150

Call for papers

The Call for Papers for the 43rd International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA 2015) is open. You may submit your abstract for the Session 3C, Computer and rock art studies: data collection,  interpretation and communication. Deadline november 20th 2014.




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The Felines of Foum Chenna, Morocco

Foum Chenna

Foum Chenna

Depictions of cats in rock all over the world art are frequently characterised by specific feline properties. The feline images at the petroglyph site of Foum Chenna in southern Morocco are much less idiosyncratic. Besides a general description of the rock art site of Foum Chenna, the current paper attempts at a re-evaluation of the image of the feline at Foum Chenna, simultaneously trying to fit the image into a chronology of Moroccan rock art.

by Maarten van Hoek


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Prehistory popularisation: a de profundis?

bison

Cave art

Two recently published  archaeology books, mainly or partially concerning cave art, show a set of inaccuracies which doesn’t seem acceptable, not only for a specialised scientific level, but also for an educational one. The lack of a review process performed by professional archaeologists demonstrates the weakness in Italy, and not only, of the archaeologist profession, particularly in the prehistoric and rock art fields.

by R.C. de Marinis

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The Motocachy Pampa Disaster, Peru

Figure 011a

Motocachy Pampa


The UNESCO’s World Heritage List now registers almost a thousand properties. Only two percent of the World Heritage List comprises rock art sites. Regrettably 44 of those properties are in danger, which proves that being on the World Heritage List is not a guarantee that nothing will endanger the site. I will focus the discussion mainly on rock art sites in the deserts of western Peru.

by Maarten van Hoek – rockart@home.nl



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Elephas antiquus depicted at Vermelhosa rock art?

Vermelhosa

Vermelhosa

Among the Vermelhosa Palaeolithic scratched figures, an elephant head stands out. Eighteen years after its publication, it’s time to recall the attention of Palaeolithic rock art scholars over this case: having been the Iberian peninsula the last European refuge of the straight-tusked elephant, are we facing an Elephas antiquus depiction?

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by Andrea Arcà

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Palaeolithic rock engravings at Vermelhosa

verm_sq_yellow

Vermelhosa


SIMÕES DE ABREU M., ARCÀ A., FOSSATI F., JAFFE L., 1998. Palaeolithic rock engravings at Vermelhosa, Côa valley archaeological park, Portugal, in  UISPP – International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences, Proceedings of the XIII Congress, Volume 3, Forlì
| full text-image flip book and PDF | English.

by Mila SIMÕES DE ABREU, Andrea ARCÀ, Angelo FOSSATI, Ludwig JAFFE

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Le rupi scolpite delle Alpi Marittime (Issel 1901)

issel1901foto150

Fontanalba picture

TRACCE free e-books


Issel A. 1901. Le rupi scolpite nelle alte valli delle Alpi Marittime, Bullettino di paletnologia italiana, s. III, t. VII, a. XXVII, n. 10-12, pp. 218-259.
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from TRACCE scan-OCR, public domain) | Italian

[editor’s note: the most detailed paper until that time on Mt. Bego’s engravings; Issel never recorded the engraved rocks, but attentively examined the literature and was in close and friendly contact with C. Bicknell]

by Arturo ISSEL

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Entre Mont Bego et Val Camonica

meravigliemago

Merveilles, le Sorcier

TRACCE open access papers

Arcà Andrea, 2011.
Entre Bego et Val Camonica: une clé pour mieux comprendre l’origine de l’art rupestre dans les Alpes, in BEPAA XXII, pp. 71-89.
| full text-image inline PDF | French

La comparaison entre ces deux sites est cruciale pour l’encadrement global de l’art rupestre alpin.

by Andrea Arcà

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Piero Barocelli, a rupestrian archeology pioneer

Piero Barocelli, archaeologist

Piero Barocelli’s work on Mt. Bego Petroglpyphs plays a highly original and markedly pioneering role for the Alpine and European rupestrian archaeology. Full text-image inline PDF available (TRACCE open access papers).

Gli studi di Piero Barocelli sui petroglifi del Monte Bego assumono per l’archeologia rupestre alpina ed europea una posizione fortemente originale e di marcato pionierismo. Disponibile la versione PDF integrale.

by Andrea Arcà

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Gavrinis, une approche multiscalaire

Gavrinis art

A multiscale approach: the workflow committed on the Gavrinis island cairn gathers archaeologists and archaeometrists, architects and surveyors, to acquire, handle and share information relative to a passage-tomb built at the beginning of the IVth millennium, one of the most famous of the European monumental heritage.

by S. Cassen, L. Lescop, V. Grimaud, G. Querré, B. Sune

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How do we recognise rock art?

Aboriginal engraving

This paper was stimulated by an on-line discussion with Andrea Arcà (Case example 4: figurative and non-figurative below) about a need for archaeologists to treat figurative and non-figurative rock art differently.

by † John Clegg

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Dating and (up)dating Valcamonica rock art

Valcamonica chronology

Since the beginning the achievement of a correct chronological attribution has represented an important point of any rock art research. But since the beginning any chronological attribution has been subjected to the risk of being questioned, not accepted or simply updated. So rock art dating is often controversial…

by Andrea Arcà

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Grotte Chauvet Archaeologically Dated

Chauvet cave

TRACCE no. 12 – by Christian Züchner


The Grotte Chauvet was discovered at Christmas 1994. A beautiful picture book came out only a few months later (Chauvet et al. 1995). It has been the main source of our knowledge and discussion up to now.

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Rock Art in Russian Far East and in Siberia

Elangash

TRACCE no. 11 – by † Burchard Brentjes


Rock Art in Russian Far East and in Siberia. A bird’s eye view over a continent.
There are about half a million of petroglyphs known in Siberia and the Far East of Russia. Mobody knows up to now how many are still to be discovered

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The motif of the “Camunian Rose”

Camunian rose

TRACCE no. 10 – by Paola Farina


The motif of the “Camunian Rose” in the rock art of Valcamonica (Italy) part **.
In the past the scholars proposed some hypotheses about the meaning of the “Camunian rose”, engraved on several rocks in Valcamonica…
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Orientalizing motives in alpine rock art

Pazyryk horse

TRACCE no. 10 – by † Burchard Brentjes


Orientalizing motives in alpine rock art.
The rich ensemble of rock art in the Valle Camonica comprises several motives for which oriental parallels could be mentioned.
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Vermelhosa rock 1, palaeolithic figures

Elephant figure

TRACCE no. 5 – by Andrea Arcà


Palaeolithic figures in rock n. 1 of the Vermelhosa – Côa Valley area.
Rock n. 1 of the Vermelhosa Valley (Côa Valley area) lies at 180 m altitude, on the left orographic side of the Douro River, which is flowing few scores of meters below.. Read more

Vermelhosa Iron Age rock art

Duelling Iron Age scene

TRACCE no. 5 – by Angelo Fossati


The Iron Age in the Rock Art of Vermelhosa, Portugal.
Besides the figures attributable to the Palaeolithic times there are also petroglyphs that can be dated to the Iron Age (1st Millennium BC). These figures are engraved scratching the rock surface, sometimes with a stone, other times with a metal tool, as it is possible to note from the outlining. Read more

The Case of Guelta Oukas, Morocco

Thumbnail

Guelta Oukas

Very recently several petroglyphs at the rock art site of Guelta Oukas in the Anti Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco were severely damaged. However, the mutilation was limited to two panels with mainly depictions of cattle and – moreover – to specific body parts of those zoomorphic images. In this paper I argue that this is not just another case of unwanted vandalism. Instead, I propose that the mutilation at Guelta Oukas could represent an instance of ‘negative’ rock art, involving the desecration of the images.

by Maarten van Hoek Read more

TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin 36 – May 2015

TRACCE36head500# 36 – May 2015

TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin 36

––––––––––––––––––> by Footsteps of Man
edited by Le Orme dell’Uomo (Valcamonica – I)

Save Mount Latmos (Turkey) rock art!

Rock paintings dating back to the 6th and 5th millennia B.C. are endangered by exploitation of feldspar. Please sign the online petition to the Turkey Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs

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Save Mount Latmos rock art! (petition)

Einzigartige Natur- und Kulturlandschaft vor

Karadere Cave

On line petition (please sign it!) to the Turkey Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs. Discovered in 1994 by the Berlin archaeologist Dr. Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat, these rock paintings date back to the 6th and 5th millennia B.C.  They are now greatly endangered by increased stone quarrying in the area: the exploitation of feldspar is causing the drastic metamorphosis of the Latmos from a sacred mountain into a source for bathroom installations!

by APB (online petition)

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New Anthropomorphic Figures from Jebel Rat

Jebel Rat

Jebel Rat

The plateau at the northern foot of Jebel Rat, in the heart of the High Atlas, Morocco, is a major rock-art centre, mainly known for its numerous petroglyphs of horsemen. There are also large circles (interpreted as round shields, some of them decorated) and weapons like daggers, halberds and axes. The anthropomorphic figures are not so well known. Some of them are similar to the ones present at Oukaimeden and Yagour, while others are typical of this plateau. Those figures are round or oval, their heads drawn with coils or spirals. A number of newly found anthropomorphs are presented in this paper.

by Alessandra Bravin
Read more

Mt. Bego, a rediscovered manuscript

Manuscript

Manuscript

The oldest written document regarding European rock art is stored in the Turin State Archive. It is entitled the Academia de Giardini di Belvedere (the Belvedere Gardens Academy).

The manuscript is a copy made around the mid seventeenth century by Pietro Gioffredo, historian of the Savoy House, on the basis of another manuscript, written by Honorato Lorenzo, dating back to the end of the previous century, around 1591, or a few years later.

by Andrea Arcà

Read more

Rock Art at Ischigualasto, and more …

Cruz Sagrada

This paper discusses several aspects of rock art research in general, using the status of rock art research in the Cuyo region of western Argentina as a pilot study. A number of protected and unprotected rock art sites will be discussed, focussing on four interrelated issues: Issue 1: Have the locations of rock art sites correctly been published? Issue 2: Should rock art sites be accessible for all? Issue 3: Should the location of rock art sites be revealed or not? Issue 4: Do only academics have the right to publish information about rock art?

by Maarten van Hoek

.

Read more

Latmos Mountains (Turkey), endangered rock paintings

Latmos paintings

Baliktas paintings

The living environment of the Latmos Mountains and of its communities are threatened by the deforestation caused by feldspar quarrying. The cultural heritage looks back upon a long history, from the Neolithic period up to the Ottoman Empire. More than 170 sites of rock drawings (6th/5th millennia BC) are known, representing one of the most important discoveries in prehistoric archaeology during the past decades in Anatolia. Television documentaries, newspaper reports, symposia and demonstrations, have not succeeded in preventing the devastation of the landscape… please sign the online petition!

by Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat

Read more

Phaistos, Crete, cup-marks and other signs

Festos150

Phaistos, spiral

Rock art enthusiasts and researchers will be pleasantly surprised while discovering the moderate but diffused presence of Minoan Palaces “rock art”; two main categories are present: mason’s marks and cup-marks – so-called kernoi – all these engraved upon the ashlars limestone blocks of the Minoan Palaces, mainly in the first centuries of the 2nd millennium BC. Some interpretation problems arise, concerning the sacred or practical character of the marks and the use of the kernoi as offering tables or as popular or childish board games. A great concentration of such items may be found at the Phaistos Palace...

by Andrea Arcà



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L’arte rupestre dell’età dei metalli

locandinaL’arte rupestre dell’età dei metalli nella penisola italiana: Localizzazione dei siti in rapporto al territorio, simbologie e possibilità interpretative.

Tavola rotonda Venerdì 5 Giugno 2015 ore 9.30 – 18.00, sala conferenze del Cantiere delle Navi Antiche, via Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli 23, Pisa

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Phaistos Palace, mason’s marks photogallery

Phaistos_masonmark150

Phaistos, Crete

More than 220 mason’s marks are reported at Phaistos by Luigi Pernier in 1935, mostly connected to the First Palace. Some characteristics, as their positioning upon hidden faces of the blocks or traces of plastering testify that they were hidden from view after the completing of the palace; for these reasons we may argue that they were more likely connected to the building phases than to the symbolic decoration of the palace. [photogallery]

by AA

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Phaistos Palace, kernoi photogallery

Phaistos, Crete

Phaistos, Crete

At Phaistos Palace stone kernoi are interestingly concentrated over the limestone steps of the theatral terraces and along the paved flooring beneath. These kernoi appear worn, more likely for anthropic use than for natural weathering, so testifying foot traffic and/or the sitting of spectators. Depressions are too shallow to contain anything, apart from holding little pebbles or seeds. Such a connection with open-air shows or ceremonies would favour … [photogallery]

by AA

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Maroc, programme “Paysages Gravés”

00pays_gravBrève annonce sur le
programme “Paysages Gravés”
Mission du 4 au 10 novembre 2012
Région de Guelmim (bas Draa), Ifrane et vallée de Tamanart (Anti Atlas)

by Association Anti Atlas occidental
du tourisme montagnard
à Boutrouch Tafraout – Morocco Read more

TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin 35 – Mar 2015

TRACE35logo# 35 – Mar 2015 (abstracts of the CAA2015 rock art session)

TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin 35

––––––––––––––––––> by Footsteps of Man
edited by Le Orme dell’Uomo (Valcamonica – I)

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Chile, Photographic recording and digital enhancement

cerillo_cuenca1_150

Tracing

[CAA 2015 – session 3C abstract]

The digital recording of rock art has benefited of an increasing number of software solutions, mostly photogrammetry and the enhancement of pigments from photographs. During the last years we have utilized open source scientific libraries for enhance pigments in a currently under development software code named PyDRA…

by Enrique CERRILLO-CUENCA, Marcela SEPÚLVEDA




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Spanish rock-art documentation, the ARAM project

ARAM2_150

ARAM project

[CAA 2015 – session 3C abstract]

In the latest three years, we have applied our own documentation methodology over 45 rock-art shelters from different regions of Spain. We developed a register system that combines the data acquired by 3D scanning technology, photogrammetry, high-resolution spherical images …

by Jorge ANGAS, Manuel BEA


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Biological activity tracking on cave art sites

UVF-MAP_Pakhunov150

UVF

[CAA 2015 – session 3C abstract]

Micro-organisms populating caves produce organic acids that damage and dissolve a calcite substratum. This might have been the primary cause of degradation of numerous Palaeolithic paintings in many caves…

by Alexander PAKHUNOV






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Northern Scandinavia rock paintings: NIR analysis

1109_1_150

NIR analysis

[CAA 2015 – session 3C abstract]

Field based Near Infrared analysis of Rock paintings in northern Scandinavia. Seven different sites have been investigated and generated large amounts of multivariate data requiring multivariate data analysis…

by Johan LINDERHOLM, Paul GELADI, Claudia SCIUTO




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Great Rock of Naquane, digital practices

Naquane vector

Naquane vector

[CAA 2015 – session 3C abstract]

Like archaeology in general, rock art studies need to record, study and share data: a large set of electronic instruments – for graphics and for the data analysis – are to be intended as a fundamental tool box for the careful and up-to-date rock art archaeologist…

by Andrea ARCÀ




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