Archive for Academics

Kuntur Wasi, Peru: Architectural Art or Rock Art ?

fig-logo-2Often we find pecked or scratched images on walls of rocks that are part of ancient structures, ranging from simple circular huts to intricate temple complexes. In many cases the rocks that are used have been smoothened before (or after) they were incorporated. In most instances it is clear that those images have been added after the smoothening and after the incorporation of the stones into the structure. Some of them may definitely be regarded as true rock art and not as architectural art, but a few images are ambiguous in this respect. This short paper discusses one such controversial image on a menacing monolith at Kuntur Wasi in northern Peru.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Frontal Insignia-Tumi

arg-def-defThe Desert Andes (the westernmost coastal strip of South America) is very rich in rock art sites. In rare cases specific images occur at selected sites, often separated by long streches of the desert. Two telling examples are the Avian Staff Bearer and the The Enigmatic Traveller (both published in TRACCE). This study examines another “travelling” icon: The Frontal Insignia-Tumi that is found from Tamentica in the south to – surprisingly – Toro Muerto in the north of the Study Area, a distance of no less than 630 km (as the crow flies).

By Maarten van Hoek

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Sobre Dibujos de Arte Rupestre (Andino)

logo-tracceThe essence of every rock art study must be the image. In most cases the image that we observe is not quite the same as manufactured and/or intended by prehistoric people. It is altered by weathering, erosion and all sorts of anthropic activities. Yet, the resulting image is the only source to use. The best thing to do is to photograph the image, but if one makes a drawing of the image, it should be as correct as possible. Yet, many rock art researchers produce and publish drawings that are not correct. Consequently, their interpretations will often be incorrect. This study discusses some examples of incorrect drawings and offers some recommendations.

by Maarten van Hoek

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La paura del ritorno: sepolture “anomale”…

Sewerby, East Yorkshire

Ritrovamenti archeologici e fonti letterarie testimoniano alcuni casi di riapertura di tombe e la mutilazione del cadavere, atti dovuti probabilmente alla volontà di rendere definitivamente innocue persone considerate malvagie, nefaste e pericolose, delle quali si temeva il ritorno in vita e alle quali doveva essere imputato un evento inspiegabile, come morti dovute a epidemie.

by Francesca CECI & Francesca RONCORONI


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Facies locorum – paesaggi e arte rupestre

Valcamonica, la Concarena

Valcamonica, la Concarena

La densità e la varietà delle incisioni presenti sulle rocce, che per un lungo tratto della valle degradano verso l’alveo del fiume Oglio che dai ghiacciai dell’Adamello e dalle molte valli laterali convoglia le acque verso il lago d’Iseo, fanno della Valcamonica un caso esemplare per lo studio dei processi di creazione di un paesaggio. Proprio il carattere più evidente di gran parte del patrimonio figurativo rupestre, l’inamovibilità dai luoghi in cui esso è stato istoriato, solleva una questione che tocca in profondità la nozione di paesaggio.

by Giacomo CAMURI

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Rock art across Australia

Wandjina spirit

As rock art theory has largely been refracted through western conceptual and epistemological underpinnings, it is a valuable (and timely) exercise to redirect art theory through the lens of Indigenous Australians’ geographical and cultural settings. For reasons of brevity, this critical exploration is not to offer a comprehensive road map pertaining to all aspects of vastly complicated socio-artistic elements of Australian Indigenous society but to stimulate discussion.

by Marisa GIORGI

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Piovono capre: i capridi nell’arte rupestre dell’Iran

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Iran, goat-like figure

Il testo qui proposto vuole essere una breve sintesi di quanto si è potuto osservare durante una serie di visite, tra aprile e maggio 2013, in tre siti con arte rupestre in Iran: Kalateh Abdol e Shotor Sang, entrambi prossimi alla città di Mashhad, nella regione del Khorasan, e la zona della piana di Teymareh nella provincia di Khomein, a metà strada tra Tehrān e Esfahan. I siti con arte rupestre in Iran offrono una visione d’insieme che appare di straordinaria importanza e ricchezza. Al loro interno i capridi costituiscono un soggetto di primaria importanza e di vasta diffusione.

by Dario SIGARI Read more

Water supply of the fortress Gala Abu Ahmed

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Sudanese desert

To reconstruct the paleo-environmental conditions near an ancient fortress from Napatantimesin the first millennium BC a 6m deep soil profile in the Sudanese desert was studied using 14C-dating and stable C isotope analyses. Strong evidence for the existence of an open water source or at least a near surface water resource during or near the period of the use of the fortress was found. This would explain the establishment and the operation of the fortress at this remote place.

by Nadia PRAYS, Friederike LANG,
Martin KAUPENJOHANN, Andreas GUNDELWE
IN

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Icons That Travel

0 logoThe Atacama Desert and the Andes in South America are crisscrossed by myriads of paths and tracks. Often those tracks are easily seen in Google Earth as broad bands. Also rock art images narrate of such travels. They mainly depict camelids guided by people. In rare instances however a specific kind of traveller has been depicted on the rocks. I have labelled it ‘The Enigmatic Traveller‘. In this study I describe the distribution of this icon, compare it with similar images and try to explain the meaning of the enigmatic position of the arms of this figure.

By Maarten van Hoek

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El Arpa en el Arte Rupestre Andino

Arpista Andino

Instrumentos musicales rara vez se han representado en el arte rupestre. Por lo tanto el descubrimiento de tres (quizás cuatro) petroglifos de arpas – en dos casos tocando por arpistas – en una pared de roca en el desierto de Atacama de América del Sur, es excepcional. Ciertamente son petroglifos de la época posthispana. Musical instruments have only rarely been depicted in rock art. The discovery of three (perhaps four) petroglyphs of harps – two played by harpists – on a rock wall in the Atacama Desert of South America is therefore exceptional. They certainly are Post-Columbian petroglyphs.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Avian Staff Bearer

Ariquilda-1

Ariquilda-1

This paper investigates a well-known but rare icon from the rock art of the Atacama Desert. It concerns a group of anthropomorphic figures displaying a very specific bird-related element. For that reason Juan Chacama and Gustavo Espinosa speak of ‘hombres-falcónidas’, ‘raptor-men’, to describe this class of anthropomorphic figures. Remarkably, their interpretation seems to be generally ignored by several archaeologists and rock art investigators. This study presents a revaluation of the theory put forward by Juan Chacama and Gustavo Espinosa in 1997.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Potash Sheep Shifters

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Shay Canyon Bighorns

The Southwest of North America is known for its rich rock art in which the image of the Bighorn is one of the most important zoomorphic representations. This study investigates the many manifestations of the Bighorn in rock art. The focus is on idiosyncrasies and possible transformations of the image of this impressive animal. It proves that in this respect especially Site 3 on Potash Road near Moab, Utah, offers so many shape-shifted images that we can speak of the Potash Sheep Shifters.

by Maarten van Hoek

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Val Meraviglie e Fontanalba (Barocelli 1921)


Barocelli 1921

TRACCE free e-books


Barocelli P. 1921. Val Meraviglie e Fontanalba (Note di escursioni paletnologiche), Atti della Società Piemontese d’Archeologia e Belle Arti, vol. X, fasc. 1, 51 pp., X tavv.
| full text-image and PDF (TRACCE 2015 re-editing) | Italian

[editor’s note: this 1921 paper expresses the first complete archaeological and chronological framework of the Mt. Bego petroglyphic complex; the author, Piero Barocelli was the archaeologist charged with the area, which was at this time managed by the Italian Royal Archaeological Superintendence; Clarence Bicknell, during the last years of his life, passed to him the baton of the research]

by Piero Barocelli – 1921

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Rock Art in Jebel Akhdar, Oman

Bilad Sayt

Bilad Sayt

The petroglyphs and pictographs of Oman are little known, but for the last five years I have been involved in a series of surveys of the Jebel Akhdar Mountains that have resulted in the location of several important sites. Recording these in advance of construction projects undertaken to modernize the country’s transportation network has enabled me to study the rock art in considerable detail for the first time. Using superimpositions, cross-dating with known artistic expressions elsewhere in the region, and the known dates for introduction of various objects of material culture, I propose a preliminary chronology consisting of four major phases spanning the last 6,000 years.

by Angelo Eugenio Fossati
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The Case of Guelta Oukas, Morocco

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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
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Val Meraviglie e Fontanalba – Tavole (Barocelli 1921)

Barocelli1921SPABA_tav_logo150

Barocelli 1921, plates

TRACCE free e-books



Tavole I-X da:
Barocelli P. 1921. Val Meraviglie e Fontanalba (Note di escursioni paletnologiche), Atti della Società Piemontese d’ Archeologia e Belle Arti, vol. X, fasc. 1, 51 pp., X tavv.

| full text-image and PDF (TRACCE 2015 re-editing, public domain) | Italian

[editor’s note: the 1921 paper by Piero Barocelli is enriched by 10 plates – tracings, drawings and pictures – accompanined by very detailed captions]

by Piero Barocelli – 1921

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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
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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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