Tag Archive for Bronze Age

Phaistos, Crete, cup-marks and other signs


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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Phaistos Palace, mason’s marks photogallery


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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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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Magura cave photogallery


Magura figure

The Bulgarian Magura cave is well known for its impressive prehistoric paintings, scattered along an astonishing and dreamy 240 m long underground diverticulum, for which its Art Gallery is really worth a visit. More than 750 darkish figures have been counted, made with bat guano, smeared or rubbed along the cave walls; on the curvy  shaped vaults and niches, white or yellowish “plastered” by the nature, we can recognise dancing, hunting, and mating scenes, and organise the figures into four thematic groups: anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, geometric, and symbolic signs. [Text and photogallery]

by AA

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Chenal: il riparo inciso – the engraved shelter

Chenal schelter

Chenal shelter

Una recente scoperta: le più antiche figure post-paleolitiche dell’arte rupestre alpina. A recent discovery: the most ancient post-palaeolithic figures of the alpine rock art. Venerdì 9 maggio 2014 ore 17.30 presentazione pubblica ad Aosta; Friday, May 9, 2014 5:30 p.m. public presentation at Aosta (I).


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

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Oukaimeden, a Moroccan rock art site


Oukaimeden engraving

Here some slides and draft notes of a lecture I delivered in 2010, after visiting Oukaimeden in April 2007. I’m pleased to share pictures, but also some ideas: comments are welcome. Oukaimeden is a very important petroglyphic complex, showing Copper or Ancient Bronze  Age (III-beginnings of II mill. BC) engraved weapons, and also  interesting points of contact with similar European petroglpyhs, from the Iberian peninsula to the Alpine arc, Mt. Bego particularly. Last but not least, it is also a beautiful natural site...

by Andrea Arcà (Footsteps of Man – IIPP)

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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

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“Praying figures” in Valcamonica rock art

In Valle r. 4

TRACCE open access papers

Arcà Andrea, 2001.
Chronology and interpretation of the “Praying figures” in Valcamonica rock-art. In: Archeologia e arte rupestre: l’Europa – le Alpi – la Valcamonica, secondo convegno internazionale di archeologia rupestre. Atti del Convegno di studi, 2-5 ottobre 1997, Darfo Boario terme, Milano, 2001, pp. 185-198

| abstract and full text-image inline PDF | English, Italian
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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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