Tag Archive for arte rupestre

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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The Avian Staff Bearer



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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15 years of Rupestreweb, 12 new papers online




January-April 2015, twelve new papers on Rupestreweb, for its 15 years of web-presence; a rich overlook about: Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Cuba, México, Nicaragua Perú, República Dominicana.  Piedras sagradas, conservação, narraciones orales, murales policromos,  piedras pintadas, geoglyphs and so on…
Rupestreweb, Arte rupestre en América Latina.

by Rupestreweb

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Saint Vincent, nuove incisioni rupestri preistoriche


Ibex – stambecco

New important prehistoric rock carvings have been found by Eusebio Imperial of the S.Va.PA.– Société Valdôtaine de Préhistoire et d’Archéologie. Among them ibexes and fringed figures. Here a preliminary report by A.E. Fossati. Relazione di A.E. Fossati sulle nuove importanti incisioni rupestri preistoriche con stambecchi e figure frangiate scoperte in Valle d’Aosta.

by A. E. Fossati

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Chiza, Interpreting Digitally Restored Petroglyphs

Chiza petroglyph

Chiza Petroglyphs

The goal of this paper is to offer the interested reader a digital restoration and interpretation of the images of a vandalized petroglyph boulder located in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Its damaged face underscores the urgent necessity to ([photo])graphic record rock art sites in general. It is hoped that very soon a complete survey will be made of the Chiza petroglyph site and that the official survey will be made available to rock art researchers.

by Maarten van Hoek

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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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BEPA, online i primi due numeri



Ha preso avvio la pubblicazione online integrale dei primi tre numeri del BEPA – Bulletin d’Études Préhistoriques Alpines, edito dalla S.Va.P.A. – Société Valdôtaine de Préhistoire et d’Archéologie. Sono disponibili le versioni sfogliabili e “cercabili” dei primi due numeri, scaricabili anche in formato PDF.

by S.Va.P.A

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Mount Bego, XIX century research history


Bego 1887 tracing

Issue 29 of TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin is dedicated to the research history of Mt. Bego, from its early “discovery” to the end of the 19th century, with the exception of Clarence Bicknell’s work. Two key points should be emphasized: the relationship with the development of paleethnology and the significance of British “cup-and-rings” studies. All early Mt. Bego authors virtually contribute to this issue since their papers are “served” online, not only as PDF files, but also as “flip-books”, giving in this way importance to sources and online e-book sharing since they provide a useful tool to all researchers interested in rock art studies, especially in this area of the Alps.

by Andrea Arcà (Footsteps of ManIIPP)

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Corografia delle Alpi Marittime (Gioffredo 1660, 1839)

Gioffredo 1660 (1839)

TRACCE free e-books

Gioffredo P., 1839 [~1660]. Storia delle Alpi Marittime, corografia, libro I, in Storia delle Alpi Marittime di Pietro Gioffredo libri XXVI, Torino, capo XIII
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from Google Books, public domain) | Italian

[editor’s note: the first written news of the Laghi delle Meraviglie (Marvels Lakes) – Mt. Bego – engraved rocks, printed edition (1839) of a manuscript compiled around 1660, based on a late 16th century relation]


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Voyage aux alpes Maritimes (Foderé 1821)


Fodéré 1821

TRACCE free e-books

Foderé F. E., 1821. Voyage aux Alpes Maritimes, ou histoire naturelle, agraire, civile et médicale, du comté de Nice et pays limitrophes, Paris, pp. 18-19
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from Google Books, public domain) | French

[editor’s note: in this book it is possible to read the first few lines in French, regarding Mt. Bego’s rock carvings. Dans ce livre on peut lire la première mention imprimée en Français sur les gravures rupestres du Mont Bego]

by François-Emmanuel Foderé

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The Meraviglie (Moggridge 1869)


1868 drawings

TRACCE free e-books

Moggridge M. 1869. The Meraviglie, in International Congress of prehistoric Archaeology, transactions of the Third Session, London, 359-362, 5 plates.
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from Google Books, public domain) | English

[editor’s note: this paper marking the scientific discovery of Mt. Bego’s petroglyphic complex – one of the two Alpine rock art poles – is due to an English botanist, member of the Italian Alpine Club]

by Matthew MOGGRIDGE, F.G.S. (Fellow of the Geological Society of London)

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Une excursion aux Lacs des Merveilles (Henry 1877)


Henry 1887

TRACCE free e-books

Henry [M.] 1877. Une excursion aux Lacs des Merveilles près Saint-Dalmas-de-Tende, Annales de la Société des lettres, science et arts des Alpes-Maritimes, t. IV, pp. 185-205
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from Gallica-BNF, public domain) | French

[editor’s note: The author thinks that the Mt. Bego engravings are natural rocks marking made by the glaciers; no scholar agreed with him]

by [M.] HENRY

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Étude sur les sculptures préhistoriques (Blanc 1878)


Blanc 1878

TRACCE free e-books

Blanc E., 1878. Étude sur les sculptures préhistoriques du Val d’Enfer près des Lacs des Merveilles, pp. 72-87, 1 pl. h.t.
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from Gallica – BnF, public domain) | French

[editor’s note: in this paper, the author, a librarian from Nice, supports the idea that the engravings were the result of the cult of some malevolent deity, terrifying generator of lightning and thunder]

by Edmond Blanc

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Gravures sur roches, Lacs des Merveilles (Rivière 1879)


1879 tracings

TRACCE free e-books

Rivière E., 1879. Gravures sur roches des lacs des Merveilles au val d’Enfer (Italie), in Association française pour  l’avancement des sciences, Paris, pp. 783-793, I tav.
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from Gallica – BnF,, public domain) | French

[editor’s note: this paper better details the French scientific discovery of Mt. Bego’s petroglyphic complex and it is due to the physician and archaeologist Émile Rivière, devoted to the study of the Palaeolithic]

by Émile RIVIÈRE

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Iscrizioni simboliche preistoriche (Navello 1884)


Navello 1884

TRACCE free e-books

Navello S. 1884. Iscrizioni simboliche preistoriche dei laghi delle meraviglie nelle Alpi Marittime, Memoria Navello, pp. 16-21, 2 tavv.
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from TRACCE scan-OCR, public domain) | Italian

[editor’s note: the first Italian detailed paper, presented to the Alpine Club’s congress, “translates” the contents expressed by L. Clugnet as well as re-drawing his plates]

by Serafino NAVELLO (representing the International Alpine Club of Nizza)

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Iscrizioni simboliche, Lago delle Meraviglie (Prato 1884)


1884, CAI logo

TRACCE free e-books

Prato A. F. 1884. Sulle iscrizioni simboliche del Lago delle Meraviglie, Rivista Alpina Italiana, Periodico mensile del Club Alpino Italiano, 9, 30 settembre 1884, pp. 97-98.
| full text-image flip book and PDF (from TRACCE scan-OCR, public domain) | Italian

[editor’s note: in this short paper, published in the Italian Alpine Club review, the author suggests that the Marvels Lakes engravings where made to celebrate hunters with their preys, who died in this area]

by A. Filippo PRATO

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