Articles Hierarchy

Articles Home » Adoranten 2008

Articles: Adoranten 2008

Digging the Past: one hundred years of research on Valcamonica rock art by Alberto Marretta
The first official mention of the presence of stone carvings in Valcamonica dates back to 1909 when Walther Laeng, a young alpinist from Brescia devoted to geological, chemical and naturalistic studies who used to pass his summer vacations in Valcamonica, pointed out in a letter to the National Committee for the Protection of Monuments the presence of two engraved boulders at Pian delle Greppe near Cemmo (Capo di Ponte, Brescia, Italy). In 1912 Laeng wrote a short note about the existence of these two monuments as part of his description of Cemmo to be published in the first edition of the Guida d’Italia: Piemonte, Lombardia, Canton Ticino in 1914, edited by Luigi Vittorio Bertarelli on behalf of the Touring Club Italiano. Laeng says that these stones bear engravings “similar to the famous ones of Lac de Marveilles in the Maritime Alps”. Read the article as pdf

Rock art in Northern Fennoscandia and Eurasia – painted and engraved, geometric, abstract and anthropomorphic figures by Reidun L. Andreassen
Rock art is one of the oldest artistic expressions in the world, dating back about 35 000 years. The oldest pictures are the painted ones and can be considered as a universal “language” for all mankind, “readable” for almost everyone. The “language” differs in many aspects, but can also be possible to understand in different cultures over great geographical distances. In this article I will focus on the so called geometric, abstract and human figures found on rock-engravings and paintings in the northern part of Norway and Russia, and some figures from Finland. The same figures are also found outside this region, and the interpretation made here may also be relevant for other areas. Read the article as pdf

The Diversity of California Rock Art by Carolyn Toner
This article is a brief overview of nine protected rock art sites in California, U.S.A. The diversity of California rock art should come as no surprise given that the land itself is so diverse: mountains, deserts, rolling hills, valleys. In prehistoric (and into historic time) each pocket of terrain supported different cultures, many groups speaking many languages. It is estimated there were more than 100 different languages, and many differing ways of life.
It is thought the earliest inhabitants came by the Bering Land Bridge or sailed here, settled on the coast and migrated to other parts of what is now the United States of America. Read the article as pdf

The value of life in the images of Prehistory in Europe by Umberto Sansoni
Maternity is the power of giving birth, feeding and protecting life. It is an absolute value, asserted by logic and common sense, philosophy, myth and biology, and by the experience of man and nature. Maternity is the sine qua non of existence and is supported by Love, of which maternity is the most emblematic display. Writing on maternity could seem useless, as it is the most natural item and does not need any demonstration to enlighten its essence. This is true even during prehistory, and although for this extremely long period we have no certainties, we can surely see that maternity is a deeply rooted concept in the prehistoric and protohistoric art. We archaeologists, for once, can be sure of its meanings and can focus on the symbols related with maternity. Read the article as pdf

The Way of Life Recorded in the Rock Art of Valcamonica by Emmanuel Anati
The 75 kilometres long Valcamonica (Camonica Valley) in the Italian Alps includes over 300.000 rock engravings spanning for 10.000 years, from the Epi-Palaeolithic period to the Middle Ages. The Valley is at the crossing of the Alps from Italy to Central Europe where both ideas and people passed through. This area has been studied uninterruptedly for fifty years thus enabling scholars to recognize stylistic and thematic changes from period to period. Such changes reflect the mutations in way of thinking, in the economy and in the social organization throughout the formative period of modern society. Read the article as pdf

The World Heritage Rock Art in Alta by Karin Tansem & Heidi Johansen
The World Heritage Rock Art in Alta is a rich cultural monument consisting of several areas of carvings and rock paintings localized in the inner parts of the Altafjord in Finnmark, Norway. The rock art in Alta was made over a long period of time, from 4200 B.C. to 200 A.D. Within this period we can see both continuity and changes.
In this article we will give a short presentation of the rock art; the inscribing on the World Heritage List, dating, the images, and commonalities and differences between the various panels and areas. More detailed descriptions can be found elsewhere.
The main emphasis in this article will be on the way in which the World Heritage is managed and preserved, which has changed a great deal since the rock art was first discovered. Read the article as pdf

Unesco’s World Heritage List and Rock Art by Jean Clottes
Each year at the beginning of the summer, the representatives of the countries members of UNESCO that are signatories of the World Heritage Convention meet -each time in a different city in the world. They examine the proposals submitted by various countries to put sites considered as having an “Outstanding Universal Value” on the prestigious World Heritage List and then they vote on each proposal. The results of the proceedings attract worldwide attention and put the chosen sites into the limelight. Read the article as pdf