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VALCAMONICA/ITALIAN ALPS ROCK ART

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Bianca
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« on: March 12, 2008, 11:13:29 am »










                                                            Rock Art in the Alps


                                                                VALCAMONICA





Valcamonica is a valley situated in the Italian central Alps. Its name takes origin from the Camunni,
the original people here living during the Iron Age, then conquered by Rome in 16 BC.

Two hours are required to reach Valcamonica by car from Milan. Hundreds of thousands of figures are present in Valcamonica Rock Art, one of the richest open-air engraved areas in Europe.

Here you can take a virtual visit to Valcamonica rock art: you can start by taking a look to some figures and scenes, then to the most important sites, soon after trying to understand the different prehistoric phases and styles. Many detailed records are also available from the EuroPreArt database.

Finally some notes about Naquane, the astonishing National Park of engraved rocks at Capo di Ponte. They will be useful for your trip, virtual or may be real...

 



Valcamonica is part

of the UNESCO

World heritage ListValcamonica Rock Art sites

Valcamonica Rock Art figures

Valcamonica Rock Art periods

Naquane National Park



Valcamonica chronology (Tracce paper)

Warriors and duels (Tracce photogallery)

Paspardo Rock Art (book)

Valcamonica fieldworks (details and infos)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 01:42:14 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 11:26:24 am »










                                           Rock Art in the Alps - Valcamonica Rock Art sites









Most important sites



Valcamonica is a north-south oriented valley, 80 km long, in the Lombards Alps, north of Brescia and Iseo Lake, almost two hours by car from Milan.
His name took origin by a pre-indoeuropean people named Camunni, conquered by Rome in 16 BC.

The engraved zone (40 km long) corresponds to the lower part of middle valley, between the peaks of Concarena and Pizzo Badile Camuno (3000 meters high).
All the engraved figures are pecked in a hard permian sandstone, heavily polished by the Wurm glacier. A beautiful natural blackboard, collecting hundreds of thousands figures from various prehistoric periods.

Pitoti, meaning puppets in the dialect of Valcamonica, is the term used by the indigenous population for the figures engraved by their ancestors.

The engravings of the CAMUNNI were only noted in 1909 when Walter Laeng, a Brescian geographer, gave news about two engraved boulders at Pian delle Greppe of Cemmo in the municipality of Capo di Ponte: these two boulders are now one of the most important Copper Age monuments in Italy.

During this century many other sites were found by scholars: here a short description of the most important sites.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:27:51 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 11:29:21 am »































Naquane (Capo di Ponte)



The National Park of Engraved Rocks of Naquane (475 m high) at Capo di Ponte was created in 1955 by the Archaeological Superintendence of Lombardy, realizing an old dream of veteran pioneers, Laeng an Bonafini. It is unique in Italy. Inside you find 104 engraved rocks: the masterpieces of Iron Age Rock Art. Best known are the rocks n. 50, 1, 35, 57... and going on with beautiful rock waves polished by the glacier.

Inside also Copper Age stelae taken form Ossimo (Ossimo7-8) and Cemmo (Cemmo 3-4).
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 01:35:37 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 11:35:42 am »









Cemmo



The first site in Valcamonica recognized in 1909 by Walter Laeng: two rocks with vertical surfaces engraved in many phases during Copper Age.

Here are the Remedellian daggers, with triangular blade and half-moon shaped handle, a "fossil guide" in Rupestrian Archaeology. It is possible to find them also in many Copper Age stelae from the Alps (Aosta, Sion, Arco). The real objects were found in Remedello sud necropolis (grave 83).

Animals take a big place in these boulders: aligned deers, chamois, foxes are engraved in regular rows.

 All figures take place in the panels with an order typical of Copper Age style, showing perhaps a religious aim.

The two boulders were completely re-traced by Footsteps of Man in 1993 for "Le Pietre degli Dei"
(God Stones), an exhibition organized by the Bergamo Archaeological Museum.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:38:28 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 11:39:37 am »









Luine



The first engravings were found at Luine in 1955. Now a Comunal Park is established, with more than 50 big rocks engraved. The most interesting Bronze Age Rock Art is here, unfortunately very difficult to see.

Even more difficult to see are the few figures engraved in the so-called Palaeolithic or Post-Palaeolithic style: some big animals naturalistically represented.

Between them a deer and an elk.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:41:49 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 11:43:01 am »



                                                                 







Paspardo



One of the richest zones in Valcamonica Rock Art is on the mountain side of the Municipality of Paspardo, which take part in the inter-municipal Rock Art Reserve (Cemmo - Cimbergo - Paspardo).

Many sites here: Scale di Paspardo, Dos Sottolajolo, In Valle, Vite, Capitello dei Due Pini, Dos Costapeta, Dos Sulif. Rock Art periods from late Neolithic to Iron Age and Medieval are represented.

At Vite two distinct periods in 30 rocks: late Neolithic-first Copper Age with topographic engravings, overlapped by Iron Age warriors and duels. Near an engraved rock was found a stone polished axe.

At In Valle one of the largest engraved rocks in Valcamonica, well known for facing deers and big Iron Age warriors with shield and spear.

At Dos Sottolajolo a very easy zone to reach, close to the village.

Inside the village a topographic engraved rock (late Neolithic-first Copper Age), called the "Roccia degli Spiriti" (The rock of the spirits).

At Capitello dei Due Pini (Two Pines Capital) a very good panoramic point facing all the middle valley, and the famous Copper Age panel (see tracing in Copper Age section of Rock Art periods page).

Every year at Paspardo Footsteps of Man take a fieldwork in surveying and tracing engraved rocks.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:46:45 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 11:47:57 am »









Foppe di Nadro



A very interesting Regional Park is situated at Foppe di Nadro, not far from Capo di Ponte and in the border of Naquane National Park. Many large polished rocks show thousands of figures.

More than 100 pairs of footprints (middle Iron Age) in rock n.6, Bronze Age weapons and Iron Age itifallic warriors at rock n. 4, huts and camunnian roses at rock n. 24.

At the beginnig of the Park you can find a wodden sperimental reconstruction in natural size of an
Iron Age granary, like the ones engraved.

Other important sites at Bedolina (well-known Iron Age topographic engravings),

Seradina (rock n. 12 is one the largest, with interesting ploughing scenes),

Corni Freschi di Darfo (Copper Age halberds),

Sellero (Hercules' god representation, topographic engravings, cup--marks) and

Sonico (concentric and radiated circles, meanders, palettes).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Very important Rock Art panels, linked with Valcamonica, has been found also in Valtellina (Grosio, Teglio).



A guide book:

ARCA' A.- FOSSATI A., 1995*. Sui sentieri dell'arte rupestre, le rocce incise delle Alpi, CDA, Torino




* In italian. A guide to the most important rock art sites in the Alps (France-Italy-Switzerland-Austria, included M. Bego, Valcamonica (100 pages), Valtellina, Garda Lake), with archaeological introductions to 14 different "areas" and 44 itineraries to go everywhere.


http://www.rupestre.net/alps/valca_sites.html
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:51:31 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 11:53:13 am »



VALCAMONICA:
Borno boulder n. 4

(Copper Age) 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE

  Site: Borno (BS), now at Naquane National Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: Remedellian kind daggers


Period: Copper Age


Description: the three daggers show a triangular blade and a half-moon shaped handle. It is a very clear depiction of an archaeological object, the same that was found in the Remedello di Sotto (and also Spilamberto) necropolis phase 2 (2800-2400 BC calibrated). The representation of weapons in a precise composition, like daggers, axes and halberds is a distinctive point in Copper Age rock art. Another point is that the figures have been always engraved on vertical surfaces.


To notice: the Remedellian kind daggers are depicted in most Alpine Copper Age stelae and engraved menhirs, like Aosta, Sion, Valtellina, Valcamonica, Trentino-Alto Adige ones, and also outside from the Alps, like in Lunigiana. So they represent a kind of fossil-guide for this period.    Sito: Borno (BS), ora al Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)






Soggetto: pugnali di tipo Remedelliano


Periodo: età del Rame


Descrizione: i tre pugnali mostrano una lama triangolare ed un'impugnatura semilunata. Si tratta della chiara rappresentazione di un oggetto archeologico, lo stesso trovato nelle necropoli di Remedello di Sotto (fase 2, 2800-2400 a.C. calibrata) e Spilamberto. La rappresentazione di armi (pugnali, asce e alabarde) in ordinata composizione è una caratteristica dell'arte rupestre dell'età del Rame. Un'altra caratteristica è l'utilizzo di superfici verticali.

Da notare: i pugnali di tipo Remedelliano sono raffigurati in molte stele e menhir alpini dell'età del Rame, come ad Aosta, a Sion, in Valtellina, Valcamonica, Trentino-Alto Adige, e anche al di fuori delle Alpi, come in Lunigiana, costitutendo quindi una specie di fossile guida.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:55:13 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 11:56:24 am »



VALCAMONICA:

Ossimo boulder n. 8

(Copper Age) 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE



  Site: Ossimo (BS), now at Naquane National Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: Bell-beaker phase human figure, rayed circle


Period: Copper Age


Description: the body of the human figure has been depicted with the usual triangular shape, typical of the Bell-Beaker phase (2400-2200 BC). The sun-figure over the head may represent an attribute of a sun-god. In this case this figure is marking the first iconographic antropomorphisation of a divinity. Other theories suggest ont the contrary it may outline a king or a chief figure, probably ritually leading a circular-dance.


To notice: pecking is very fine and well executed, according to the public monumental nature of this engraved boulder.    Sito: Ossimo (BS), ora al Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: figura antropomorfa della fase campaniforme dell'età del Rame (fase IIIA2) e figura raggiata.


Periodo: età del Rame


Descrizione: il corpo della figura umana è stato realizzato con la classica forma triangolare allungata, tripica della fase IIIA2 (fasi finali dell'età del Rame). Il cerchio raggiato può rappresentare l'attributo di una divinità solare, costituitendo così la prima rapprresentazione iconografica dell'antropomorfizzazione della divinità. Secondo altre interpretazioni può invece sottolinare la figura di un capo o di un principe, nell'atto di condurre una danza rituale a cerchio.

Da notare: la martellina è molto fine e ben eseguita, in accordo con la natura monumentale e pubblica di questo masso inciso
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 11:58:23 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 11:59:34 am »



VALCAMONICA:

wooden granaries

(Iron Age) 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE




Site: Naquane National Park rock 35 (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: wooden granaries


Period: Iron Age


Description: the three "huts" are most probably the representation of wooden granaries. Real alpine wooden houses are normally larger. They superimpose some first Iron Age animals (deer, dogs and water bird), and so they belong to the middle Iron Age.


To notice: It is possible to compare the structure of the engraved buildings with some pre-historic and middle-age Alpine granaries (still standing). The rock 35 is famous for the representations of "huts" (the so-called "camunnian village")
   Sito: Parco Nazionale di Naquane, roccia 35 (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: granai in legno


Periodo: età del Ferro


Descrizione: le tre capanne rappresentano molto probabilmente dei granai. Le abitazioni infatti sono in genere a base più larga. Le figure sovrappongono animali della prima età età del Ferro (cervo, cani e uccelli acquatici) e appartengono quindi alla media età del Ferro.


Da notare: è possibile raffrontare le strutture incise con i granai Alpini preistorici e medievali (ancora in piedi). La roccia 35 è famosa per le rappresentazioni di capanne (il cosiddetto "villaggio camuno").
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:01:16 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 12:02:38 pm »



VALCAMONICA:

Naquane,

rock n. 1

(Iron Age) 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE




  Site: Naquane Nationl Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: Deer and dog figures

Period: Iron Age


Description: although deer and dog figures are often associated in hunting scenes, here they pertain to two different Iron Age phases: first Iron Age the dog (schematic body) and first-middle Iron Age the deer (pre-naturalistic body).


To notice: please observe the legs: stick-like in the dog, indicating a movement in the deer.    Sito: Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: cervo e cane


Periodo: età del Ferro


Descrizione: benché cervi e cani si trovino spesso associati in scene di caccia, in questo caso le due figure appartengono a due diversi periodi dell'età del Ferro. Il cane è della prima età del Ferro (corpo schematico), il cervo dell prima-media età del Ferro (corpo pre-naturalistico).

Da notare: è opportuno osservare le zampe: eseguite a bastoncino nel cane, indicano invece il movimento nel cervo.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:04:45 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 12:06:14 pm »



VALCAMONICA:

Naquane

rock n. 35

(Iron Age) 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE




Site: Naquane National Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: duelling warriors


Period: Late Iron Age


Description: the two warrios are duelling in a simmetric position with sword and shield. This scene can be dated to the Iron Age by the weapons represented and mostly by the theme itself. The duel is the first iconographic subject in the Iron Age Valcamonica rock art


To notice: the parallel oblique scratches are the result of the last glacial period, ended in the Alps about 14-12.000 BP   Sito: Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: duello


Periodo: Seconda Età del Ferro


Descrizione: i duellanti sono raffigurati in posizione simmetrica, armati di spada e scudo. La scena è datata al'età del Ferro grazie alla raffigurazione delle armi, tipiche del periodo, e soprattutto grazie al tema stesso. Le scene di duello sono le più rappresentate nell'iconografia camuna dell'età del Ferro.


Da notare: le strie parallele sono dovute allo sfregamento causato dall'ultima glaciazione, terminata nelle Alpi

circa 14-12.000 BP
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:08:35 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 12:10:01 pm »



VALCAMONICA:

Naquane

rock n. 1

(Iron Age) 
 






 
SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE

  Site: Naquane Nationl Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: acrobatic riding scene


Period: First Iron Age, VII-VI cent. b.C. (fase IV-2)


Description: the rider is riding standing up, showing the spear and the shield. He is tied to the horse's neck, in order to better maintain the balance. Also the horse's legs seems to be tied. The figure represents an evident show of strength and ability, not so much different form traditional exhibitions of warrior peoples (Cossacks, Tartars). This scene can be dated to the first Iron Age (phase IV-2 of the Camunnian rock art) thanks to an accurate stylistic comparison, suggested by the kind of the weapons, by the theme itself and by the shape of the warrior's body.


To notice: with more than 900 figures the rock n. 1 is the best engraved and the most interesting rock of the Park of Naquane
   Sito: Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: cavalcatura equilibristica


Periodo: Prima Età del Ferro, VII-VI sec. a.C. (fase IV-2)


Descrizione: il cavaliere cavalca armato di scudo e lancia in piedi sul cavallo. Per meglio mantenere l'equilibrio è legato al collo del cavallo. In realtà anche le zampe del cavallo sembrano legate. Si tratta di una evidente prova di forza e di abilità, non molto differente da quanto fino a non molto tempo fa praticato da popoli di tradizione guerriera (Tartari, Cosacchi). La scena è datata alla prima età del Ferro (fase IV-2 dell'arte rupestre camuna) secondo precise comparazioni stilistiche, suggerite sia dalla raffigurazione delle armi che dalla scena in sé stessa che dallo stile di raffigurazione del corpo del guerriero.


Da notare: con oltre 900 figure la roccia 1 è la più riccamente incisa e la più interessante del Parco di Naquane
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:11:46 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 12:13:08 pm »



VALCAMONICA:

Naquane

rock n. 1

(Iron Age) 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE

  Site: Naquane National Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: hunting scene


Period: First Iron Age, VII-VI cent. b.C. (fase IV-2)


Description: the deer is hit by a spear, while the dog is biting him backside. Thus the hunter is not represented, we are in front of a hunting scene. The deer, often hunted, is one of the animal figures most represented in Iron Age, related to the theme of the strength and ability proofs (or games?) sustained by the (young?) hunter and warrior. The dating to the IV-2 phase is suggested by the passage from a static depiction to a dinamic one, thus not even completely enriched by the naturalism of the next phase.


To notice: with more than 900 figures the rock n. 1 is the best engraved and the most interesting rock of the Park of Naquane. The parallel scratches show the direction of the last glacier movement, which retired from the Alps about 14-12.000 BP.   Sito: Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: scena di caccia


Periodo: Prima Età del Ferro, VII-VI sec. a.C. (fase IV-2)


Descrizione: il cervo è stato colpito dalla lancia, mentre il cane lo attacca alle terga. Benché il cacciatore non sia rappresentato, ci troviamo di fronte ad una scena di caccia. Il cervo, spesso raffigurato in scene di caccia, è uno degli animali più rappresentati nell'età del Ferro. E' un soggetto strettamente correlato al tema delle prove (o dei giochi?) di forza e di abilità sostenute dai (giovani?) cacciatori e guerrieri. La datazione alla fase IV-2 è suggerita dal passaggio da una raffigurazione statica ad una dinamica, non ancora arricchita dalle caratteristiche più spiccatatmente naturalistiche della fase successiva.


Da notare: con oltre 900 figure la roccia 1 è la più riccamente incisa e la più interessante del Parco di Naquane. Le strie parallele indicano la direzione del movimento del grande ghiacciaio che si ritirò dalle Alpi alla fine dell'ultima era glaciale, circa 14-12.000 anni BP.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:14:52 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2008, 12:16:23 pm »



VALCAMONICA:

Naquane Park panel 
 
 






SHORT DETAILS - BREVI NOTE
 Site: Naquane National Park (Capo di Ponte)


Subject: rock n. 23 panel


Period: Middle Iron Age, VI-V cent. b.C. (fase IV-3)


Description: the panel shows the tracing of the most important figure on the rock n. 23, the four-wheeled cart. The naturalism of this figure (and the details of the construction of the cart) can date it to the IV-3 phase of the Iron Age. The cart is seen from above, while the horses in profile.


To notice: twelve rocks of Naquane National Park (on a total of more than 100) have been entirely traced by the Archaeological Superintendency of Lombardy and "Footsteps of Man" in 1989-1990. The panels show the most interesting figures, with a detailed (and archaeological) description.   Sito: Parco Nazionale di Naquane (Capo di Ponte)





Soggetto: pannello illustrativo della roccia 23


Periodo:Media Età del Ferro, VI-V sec. a.C. (fase IV-3)


Descrizione: il pannello riporta il rilievo della figura più importante della roccia 23, il carro a 4 ruote. Lo stile naturalistico e i dettagli costruttivi permettono di datare la figura alla fase IV-3 dell'età del Ferro. Il carro è visto dall'alto con le ruote "aperte", mentre i cavalli sono raffigurati di profilo.


Da notare: 12 rocce (su di un totale di oltre 100) sono state interamente tracciate dalla Soprintendenza Archeologica della Lombardia a da "Le Orme dell'Uomo" nel 1989-1990. I pannelli mostrano le figure più interessanti, con l'aggiunta di un dettagliato testo descrittivo-archeologico
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