Archive for Academics

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

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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)

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Barocelli 1921, plates

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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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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

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Phaistos, Crete, cup-marks and other signs

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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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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

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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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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?

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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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La scoperta del riparo di Morricone del Pesco

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Morricone del Pesco

Recenti ricerche condotte dalla Cattedra di Paleoantropologia dell’Università degli Studi di Ferrara hanno portato, nella primavera del 2011, all’individuazione nella regione Molise di un riparo sotto roccia con incisioni a linea continua e pitture rupestri, tutte di colore nero, che hanno permesso di stabilire un confronto crono-culturale con l’Abruzzo e il Gargano pre-protostorici

by Dario Sigari

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The Motocachy Pampa Disaster, Peru

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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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