Tag Archive for petroglyphs

Palamenco and the Shooting Male

Palamenco is a petroglyph site in the coastal area of Northern Peru. It has some special images, including an image of what I interpreted as a “shooting male”. This petroglyph is unique for Palamenco and possibly for Latin America as well. It is compared with more or less similar examples around the world.

By Maarten van Hoek

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Petroglyphs and a New Geoglyph in the Sama Valley

The Sama Valley in southern Peru has only a few rock art sites. This article describes one of those sites, which is located at Coropuro on the south bank of the river. It has a interesting collection of petroglyphs, some of which might be linked to a previously unnoticed geoglyph nearby.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Cíceras “Carcancha-Bird” Petroglyphs – Majes, Peru

The Majes drainage in southern Peru boasts the largest collection of rock art in the Andes, especially because of the abundance of petroglyphs at the Toro Muerto and Alto de Pitis. Importantly, both sites have numerous bird petroglyphs of different types. Yet there are other sites in the Majes drainage that also have idiosyncratic bird imagery. One of those sites is Cíceras, which is the subject of this study. I focus on a specific type of bird petroglyphs, for which I tentatively suggest that they have a special transcendent proficiency.

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War and Weapons in Majes Style Rock Art?

This study investigates the possibility whether rock art images in the Majes Valley of southern Peru indeed depict weapons or conflicts between humans. The bio-archaeological excavations and research at Uraca (Majes Valley) by Beth Scaffidi and Tiffiny Tung  suggest that the rock art of especially neighbouring Toro Muerto conveys a preoccupation with violence (Scaffidi and Tung 2020). However, the current study demonstrates that there is not any proof or any convincing graphical context confirming “violent events in nearby petroglyphs”.

By Maarten van Hoek

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Contextualising the Geoglyph of Huacán, southern Peru

Arequipa in southern Peru is very rich in rock art. This study investigates the relationship between the Majes Rock Art Style and the geoglyphs (not a form of rock art, though) in the area. It proves that several geoglyphs are directly related with the petroglyphs of Toro Muerto and also that they are located on ancient routes to and from the Majes Valley. Arequipa en el sur de Perú es muy rico en arte rupestre. Este estudio investiga la relación entre el Estilo del Arte Rupestre de Majes y los geoglifos (no una forma de arte rupestre) en el área. Demuestra que varios geoglifos están directamente relacionados con los petroglifos de Toro Muerto y también que están ubicados en las rutas antiguas desde y hacia el Valle de Majes.

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Serrated Edges in Rock Art

Certain rock art images prove to occur at numerous places in the world, like cupules and zigzags. In most cases this is a matter of parallel invention. However, a number of motifs may have travelled across the globe for short or even enormous distances. This study investigates the distribution of one of the enigmatic rock art features, the serrated edge and explores the possibility that this practice diffused from North America to South America (or vice versa).

By Maarten van Hoek

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Feline Petroglyphs in the Majes Valley, Peru

The Majes Valley of southern Peru is well-known for its enormous collection of petroglyphs. A significant diversity of animal species has been depicted on the relatively soft volcanic rocks of those sites. Images of felines are relatively scarce in the Majes Valley, yet they are unexpectedly numerous in absolute terms in the Central Majes Valley. In this study the image of the Majes feline and its graphical anomalies will be discussed, as well as the unexpected distribution pattern of feline imagery in the Majes Valley.

By Maarten van Hoek

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New “Carcancha” Petroglyphs in Arequipa, Peru

This paper presents the description of two new sites in Majes, Peru, both featuring an example of a skeleton-like petroglyph that may spiritually be linked with the Sacred Mountain of Coropuna. The documentation of those two new sites thus reveals new information about the symbolic spatial organization and ritual functions of the “Death Valley of the Andes”. It is especially hypothesized here that the specific setting of those two new sites may indicate a physical “Road to Coropuna”.

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False Information Concerning Majes Rock Art, Peru

Scientific publications should always be reliable. The content may never be incorrect or misleading. This also goes for publications regarding rock art, whether by amateurs or by academics. This short paper deals with two photographs of petroglyphs from the Majes Valley, southern Peru, and the conclusions based upon those illustrations published by two academics from the USA. Regrettably, both the photos and the conclusions are unambiguously incorrect.

By Maarten van Hoek

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Defecating Elephants in Messak Rock Art – An Anomaly?

In this paper I discuss the graphical displays of a natural bodily function that is, although – from top to bottom – normal in the natural world, very rare in rock art. It concerns images of defecating elephants, which – enigmatically – occur well above average in the Messak-Tadrart region of the Central Sahara. It will be attempted to explain this anomaly (PDF available).

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Three Rivers 3D Masks

In several cases rock art manufacturers were intrigued by natural rock features such as holes and cracks. This paper deals mainly with rock art images of masks that are folded across two rock panels creating 3D masks. In particular the Mogollon 3D masks of Three Rivers in New Mexico, USA, will be discussed. Also the puzzling anomaly regarding the distribution of Mogollon 3D masks and Rio Grande Style 3D masks will be dealt with. Finally, it will be attempted to offer an explanation for the enigmatic 3D masks (PDF available).

By Maarten van Hoek

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A ‘Unique’ Petroglyph Scene in Southern Morocco

Mating scenes involving mammals of the same species are rather rare in global rock art, but surprisingly fighting scenes are even more extraordinary. This study discusses a specific petroglyph panel in the south of Morocco where – in my opinion uniquely – a fighting and a mating scene was recorded by us in 2019. This panel is analysed and put into a wider context.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Incomplete Versus The Unfinished

Only the manufacturer of a rock art image could reliably have informed us whether a rock art image is unfinished or whether it is incomplete. Unfortunately informed knowledge is often completely unavailable. Then only the image and its graphical and cultural context are available to possibly separate the unfinished from the incomplete. Additionally, the incomplete image may even include something invisible. To address these issues I will use the rich rock art repertoire of the Desert Andes, focussing mainly on Toro Muerto and Miculla, two enormous rock art sites in the south of Peru.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Cupules of the Imaoun Complex, Southern Morocco

In the area just south of the Anti-Atlas numerous rock art sites have been recorded. However, there are remarkably few rock art panels with cupules in that area. This study describes a surprisingly high number of cupule panels in the Imaoun area, north of the town of Akka in southern Morocco, which represents a true anomaly in this respect.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Saluting Anthropomorph in the Rock Art of the Americas

Although in general complex biomorphic figures in rock art are not suitable to demonstrate diffusion, there is one idiosyncratic anthropomorphic figure the in rock art repertoire of the Americas, which, although it is very rare, has a remarkably wide distribution that might indicate long-distance diffusion. I have labelled this icon the Saluting Anthropomorph. See the UPDATE at the end of the paper.

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Long Distance Diffusion of Rock Art Motifs in the Americas

Rock art motifs are found in every inhabited continent. In most cases those motifs develop independently, but it is also certain that specific rock art motifs migrated from one area to another area, sometimes travelling for thousands of kilometres. This study investigates the possible long-distance diffusion of a number of abstract rock art motifs along the Pacific seaboard of the Americas.

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Indifferent Obliteration of Petroglyph Art

Petroglyphs are often found superimposed by other petroglyphs, but in some cases they have also been (partially) obliterated by hammering, rubbing or polishing of the rock’s surface. This short study investigates a number of cases in North and South America where petroglyphs may have (and in some cases definitely have) been obliterated by such grinding activities. This study therefore strongly recommend to accurately record instances where grinding activities took place, even when there are no petroglyphs visible.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The ‘Trophy-Bird’ of Alto de Pitis

This paper provides a few examples of petroglyphs that have drastically been transformed by later rock art manufacturers. However, it focuses on one specific petroglyph, which is found at Alto de Pitis in the Majes Valley of southern Peru; aptly called ‘The Death Valley of the Andes’. In this paper I tentatively argue that the unique ‘Trophy-Bird’ petroglyph of Alto de Pitis initially started off as a ‘trophy’ head, which was later intentionally transformed to symbolise the Supernatural Flight of the Dead towards Apu Coropuna, the Sacred Mountain of the area.

by Maarten van Hoek

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