GOTO WESTERN ALPS ROCK ART     |    498 / 806   

 
Name      
Italia    Valsusa - Roccia dei Meandri a zig-zag

Italy map
Keywords: meander, zig-zag, bronze age, snake, cup-mark
Institution: Cooperativa Archeologica Le Orme dell'Uomo (Footsteps of Man)   |   CONTACT
Record
proposed
by
Orme dell'Uomo - Footsteps of Man, Valcamonica - Italy
 
Location

Country:

Italia

Locality:

Mompantero - Costa Seppa

Region:

Piemonte

Area:

Valsusa

 

click to enlarge
Mompantero, Roccia dei Meandri a zig-zag, the rock and the environment (photo A. Arcą - Footsteps of Man 1992)
click to enlarge
Mompantero, Roccia dei Meandri a zig-zag, the zig-zagging meander under artificial grazing light (photo A. Arcą - Footsteps of Man 1992)


 
Environment & Surface

Altitude:

1120 m
Open-air   Shelter   Cave Portable   Megalithic

Geography:
Rocky slope, southward exposed, panoramic site, abandoned sheep pasture, xerophilous vegetation (Juniperus, little pine-tree), stone walls, arid and windy area, lateral morainic pudding-stone deposits.

Proximity:

Path

Geology:

Filladic calcschist (metamorphic rock composed by calcite and mica). This kind of rock allows the pecking technique, but is more affected by the erosion (water and wind) than the Permian sandstone, thus the siliceous component, not soluble in water, is quite resistant.

Surface:

Smooth, convex, microgranulated, flat, 30° of inclination, patina

Dimensions:
Length 4.50 m.  Width 3.20 m.

 

click to enlarge
Mompantero, Roccia dei Meandri a zig-zag, the tracing (tracing Footsteps of Man and Soprintendenza Archeologica del Piemonte, 1994)
click to enlarge
 
Art        

Description:

Engravings   Paintings   Painted engravings   High or low-relief   Sculpture
The 2 zig-zagging meanders are parallel, both originating from a little rounded cup-mark (a snake head?).

Figures:
total number 3
Two zig-zagging meander figures taking origin by a little cup-mark, one eroded cup-mark

Chronology:

Palaeolithic   Epipalaeolithic - Mesolithic   Neolithic   Copper Age   Bronze Age   Iron Age   Roman   Middle Age   Modern   Unknown
This is a problematic subject to be dated. It's possible to find a double chronological attribution: Neolithic-first Copper Age (by comparison with the meanders and the spirals of the Irish passage graves and of the megalithic art) or Bronze Age - First Iron Age (by comparison with the engravings of the Haute Maurienne French valley where such patterns seem to be related to the Iron Age topographical compositions). The study of the superimpositions in the Valsusa area testify that the meandro-spiralic pattern is overlapped by late Iron Age figures, like axes.

Notes:

The engraved surface is partially sheltered by a large rock. It is just near the path. The entire area was terraced and cultivated (vines, potatoes) till the '50-'60s. No water available if not through artificial channels. It's one of the possible ways to reach the top of the Rocciamelone mountain (more than 3500 m), the highest mountain in the Susa valley, where traditional pilgrimage is still practised (the Holy Mary of the Rocciamelone, http://www.rupestre.net/archiv/nat3.htm)).
 
Bibliography        





European total bibliography, by EuroPreArt partnersTotal (Europe)
Italia EuroPreArt general bibliography, by Cooperativa Archeologica Le Orme dell'Uomo (Footsteps of Man)General (country)
Specific Valsusa - Roccia dei Meandri a zig-zag bibliography, by Cooperativa Archeologica Le Orme dell'Uomo (Footsteps of Man)Specific (site)
Rock Art Studies: A Bibliographic worldwide Database (external link). Compiled by Leigh Marymor. Copyright (C) 2001-2002 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley Bibliographic
Rock Art
Database

 

 
Conservation        

Status:

Public   Private   Park   Classified site

Risk:

Figures are visible only on a grazing light. The site is poorly attended, thus some people is passing with motorbikes along the mountain path. The surface is affected by the erosion. The area is rarely covered by snow.

Conservation:

Good   Quite good   Mediocre   Bad

Intervention:

The rock has been completely recorded (International western Alps rock art record), traced (contact tracing and digital vectorial rendition), photographed (normal light and grazing light colour slides) under enchargement of the Archaeological Superintendence of Piedmont. More info (Italian version) at http://rupestre.net/archiv and http://rupestre.net/alps.

 

By          

Compiler:

Andrea Arcą

Institution:

Cooperativa Archeologica Le Orme dell'Uomo (Footsteps of Man)   |   CONTACT
 
         498 / 806
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by Footsteps of Man
Orme dell'Uomo