Valcamonica, 2012 Rock Art Fieldwork & Field School

Tracing Valcamonica rock art

Again in 2012 Footsteps of Man organizes its annual archaeology field school at Paspardo. This area gives a great opportunity to archaeologists, scholars, students and enthusiasts. The project participants will learn to survey, clean, photograph, draw and catalogue the rock engravings. (2013 fieldwork Jul 18-Aug 8)


by Angelo Eugenio Fossati

Paspardo, Lombardy – Italy
Rock Art Fieldwork & Field school 2012


Important notice: 2013 fieldwork will be there as always (from July 18 – to August 8 2013). Pls wait for updated post

The Footsteps of Man Archaeological Cooperative Society is based in Valcamonica, an Alpine valley in Northern Italy, where rock art constitutes an archaeological, artistic, ethnographic and historical patrimony of inestimable value (today incorporated onto the UNESCO World Heritage List).

In collaboration with the Catholic University of Brescia, the Footsteps of Man Archaeological Cooperative Society organizes its annual archaeology field school at Paspardo, one of the major area where engravings are concentrated. This area gives great opportunity to those interested (archaeologists and scholars, students and enthusiasts) to assist in the research and to learn how to study rock art. The project participants will learn to survey, clean, photograph, draw and catalogue the rock engravings at sites around Paspardo, including Vite-Deria, Baite Fles, In Valle, La Bosca and Dos Sulif.

Valcamonica, The Concarena mountain view from Paspardo

Visits to the major rock art parks and museums in Valcamonica will be organized during the field season.

The project consists of different phases, some are executed on the sites, some in laboratory:

  • researches on the sites: surveys for finding new engraved rocks; analysis of the damages of the rock surfaces; contact tracing: drawing of the engravings with permanent pens on plastic sheets; photographs;
  • in laboratory: reduction of the drawings in scale size; catalogue of the engravings; lessons and conferences on Valcamonica and alpine rock art and on other world areas.

Participants will learn how to work with rock art: they will study how to deal with conservation problems; they will  be able to draw rock engravings; they will  know how to enlighten rocks to make photography reports; they will have a good general idea of the rock art in Valcamonica and in the Alpine area.

Valcamonica, rock art tracing

Participants usually come from different countries of the world, official languages are English and Italian. In Paspardo accommodation is provided in house with rooms, dormitories, showers and kitchen.

Program exemplifying a typical week of fieldwork


Afternoon: arrivals, opening and welcome Evening: making acquaintance


Morning: presentation of works and “Valcamonica rock art”, a short general view of Valcamonica rock art, by Angelo Fossati (short lecture). Tracing trials using the rock art casts. Afternoon: visit to the rock art sites of Paspardo Evening: free


Morning: guided visit to the National Park of Rock Engravings of  Naquane, Capo di Ponte Afternoon: research and documentation Evening: “How to study and reasearch a surface with rock art” by the crew (short lecture with slides)


Morning and afternoon: research and documentation Evening: free


Morning: guided visit to the National Archaeological Museum and the Theater of Cividate Camuno
Afternoon: research and documentation Evening: “Landscape and rock art in Scandinavia” by George Nash – University of Bristol (short lecture with slides)


Morning and afternoon: research and documentation Evening: free

Valcamonica, rock art tracing


Morning: research and documentation Afternoon: guided visit to the of Cemmo Boulders National Park, Capo di Ponte
Evening: The rock art of the Plains Indians, USA by Jim Keyser  – Oregon archaeological Society (lecture in Cerveno)


Morning and afternoon: research and documentation (arrivals, opening and welcome)
Evening: making acquaintance

The evening lectures (usually in English or with English translation) will be illustrated with the help of slides. The themes also will be diversified during the three weeks. Different rock art experts and scholars are invited to deliver these presentations. Research and documentation means that we are working on the field or in laboratory

In general: Breakfast 7.30 a.m. Start work 8.30 a.m.  Lunch 00.30 p.m. Recommence work: 2.00 p.m. End work: 6.00 p.m. Free time: 6.00-7.30 p.m.   Dinner: 7.30 p.m. Lectures/Free time: 9.00 p.m.

(PASPARDO – Valcamonica) Meeting days: Fri 20 July o FRI 27 July, o FRI 3 August 2012

Meeting point: the train station at Capo di Ponte (Valcamonica, Brescia province), from 16.30 pm to 19.00 pm (20, 27 July, or 3 August 2012). If you come in other dates or hours: let us know in advance when you are coming (via email or application form) so we can meet you at the station. In any case you can call us at the mobile tel. +39.3332875920 or +39.340-8517548. At the meeting point you will meet the members of the Footsteps of Man and by our cars you will reach Paspardo.

Meeting Hour: in the afternoon from 16.30 to 19.00 pm.

How to reach Capo di Ponte: by train from Brescia (Ferrovie dello Stato/State Railway Station. Address: Viale della Stazione, 64 -25122 BRESCIA

TRAIN: from the State Railway Station (FS) in Brescia there are local trains to Valcamonica (at 15.07—17.07 p.m.). You get off at the Capo di Ponte station where the members of the Foot-steps of Man are waiting for you. The travel takes 1 hour and 40 minutes along the beautiful scenery of the Iseo Lake. Sit on the left side (going north) of the train if you want to see the lake better.

How to reach Brescia: by train from Milan (Stazione Centrale – Central Station) almost every hour there is a train to Brescia (it is the line to Venice-Venezia). Other trains to Brescia also from Bologna, Florence and Rome.

BUS: from the Sesto Marelli subway Station (Bus Terminal) in Milan (that you can easily reach with the red line of the underground, get off at the Sesto Marelli station) there is a bus (at 13.45 p.m.) that takes you to the Valcamonica where you get off at Capo di Ponte station at about 16.45.

How to go back to Milan or Brescia from Paspardo: in the same way using the train. Ask for details to the secretary as soon as you know exactly the date when you are leaving.

THINGS TO BRING Work clothes, work gloves, gym and trekking shoes, sleeping bag, bath towels, solar cream, insect repellent and sun glasses. Please to take out insurance against illness and injury, because we decline any responsibility. If you can, please have an anti-tetanus vaccination.

Valcamonica, the scanning of a rock art engraved surface


Accommodation, food, publications and working material will be provided at a cost of € 450,00 for one week per person (two weeks € 900,00; three weeks € 1350,00; only Euros accepted). As soon as you know that your application has been accepted it is necessary to send a deposit of € 50,00 (for one session) or € 100,00 (for two sessions) or € 150,00 (for three sessions) through bank transfer to the current account n.:

CIN: Q Cod. ABI:  03069 C.A.B.: 54160 n. 000010101198
Swift: BCITITMM080 IBAN: IT83 Q030 6954 160000010101198

In the name of Dr. Angelo Fossati, c/o Banca Intesa, Via Giuseppe Mazzini, 16,  25043 BRENO (BS). The secretary will send the necessary information.

If you are interested in coming you should stay for a session of 7 days in minimum. No fares or wages are offered. In Valcamonica there are banks where you can change money.

ATTENDANCE CERTIFICATE At the end of the course, on request, it will be possible to obtain a certificate of attendance.

Images on Valcamonica rock art fieldschool at the Facebook page:


Application and information:
contact prof. Angelo E. Fossati |Società Cooperativa Archeologica LE ORME DELL’UOMO
Address: Piazzale Donatori di Sangue, 1 | 25040 Cerveno (BS) | Italia
mob +39.3332875920 or +39.3408517548
Email: | |

here you can download the application form

here you can open the 2012 Valcamonica Rock Art Fieldwork poster

Summer fieldwork photogallery

Valcamonica rock art photogallery


Attorrese E., A. Fossati, 2002, “Rock 53 of Vite-Deria: New Elements for the Study ofDegradation of Valcamonica Petroglyphs.” American Indian Rock Art. 28: 103-110.

Fossati A., “But they are only puppets. Problems of management and educational programs in the rock art of Valcamonica and Valtellina, Lombardy, Italy.” Rock Art Research. 20(1): 25-30. 2003.

Arcà A. , A. Fossati, Sui sentieri dell’arte rupestre. Le rocce incise delle Alpi. Storia, ricerche, escursioni (On the paths of rock art. The carved rocks of the Alps. History, researches, excursions). Turin,1995.

Simoes de Abreu M., A. Fossati, L. Jaffe, Scolpito nel Tempo. Le incisioni rupestri della Valcamonica. Cerveno, 1989.


  1. […] this summer learning how to make rock tracings and volunteering your time to the park, they are accepting applications. Minimum age 16 (most of the volunteers in the photos don’t look much beyond college age), […]

  2. rupestre says:

    Sì, i sedicenni possono partecipare; ci vuole l’assenso scritto dei genitori.

  3. GianPaola Pedretti says:

    vorrei sapere se per il campo estivo accettate anche minorenni,anni 16, o è riservato ad universitari.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 + sixteen =