Tag Archive for petroglyphs

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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Icons That Travel

0 logoThe Atacama Desert and the Andes in South America are crisscrossed by myriads of paths and tracks. Often those tracks are easily seen in Google Earth as broad bands. Also rock art images narrate of such travels. They mainly depict camelids guided by people. In rare instances however a specific kind of traveller has been depicted on the rocks. I have labelled it ‘The Enigmatic Traveller‘. In this study I describe the distribution of this icon, compare it with similar images and try to explain the meaning of the enigmatic position of the arms of this figure.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Avian Staff Bearer

Ariquilda-1

Ariquilda-1

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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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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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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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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Reflecting (on) Petroglyphs: Two Cases

diaguita

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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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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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

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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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