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"Rock carving" redirects here. For other uses, see .

Rock carving known as Meerkatze (named by archaeologist ), rampant lionesses in , Mesak Settafet region of Libya. European petroglyphs: Laxe dos carballos in , , Spain (4th–2nd millennium BCE), depicting and deer hunting scenes Petroglyph of a camel; Negev, southern Israel. Reclining Buddha at , . The image house that originally enclosed the remains can be seen.

Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a surface by incising, picking, carving, or , as a form of . Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images. Petroglyphs are found worldwide, and are often associated with peoples. The word comes from the prefix , from πέτρα petra meaning "stone", and γλύφω glýphō meaning "to carve", and was originally coined in French as pétroglyphe.

The term petroglyph should not be confused with , which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face. Both types of image belong to the wider and more general category of rock art or . , or patterns and shapes made by many large rocks and boulders over the ground, are also quite different. are also unique, and found only in the Arctic (except for reproductions and imitations built in more southerly latitudes).

Another form of petroglyph, normally found in literate cultures, a or rock-cut relief is a sculpture carved on "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone. While these relief carvings are a category of rock art, sometimes found in conjunction with , they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, which concentrate on engravings and paintings by prehistoric or nonliterate cultures. Some of these reliefs exploit the rock's natural properties to define an image. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures, especially in the . Rock reliefs are generally fairly large, as they need to be to make an impact in the open air. Most have figures that are larger than life-size.

Stylistically, a culture's rock relief carvings relate to other types of sculpture from period concerned. Except for Hittite and Persian examples, they are generally discussed as part of the culture's sculptural practice. The vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are also found. The term relief typically excludes relief carvings inside natural or human-made caves, that are common in India. Natural rock formations made into statues or other sculpture in the round, most famously at the , are also usually excluded. Reliefs on large boulders left in their natural location, like the Hittite , are likely to be included, but smaller boulders described as or carved .

Contents

History[]

Composite image of petroglyphs from (Häljesta, Västmanland in Sweden). Nordic Bronze Age. The glyphs have been painted to make them more visible. A petroglyph of a caravan of near , United States; a common theme in glyphs from the desert Southwest and Great Basin

Some petroglyphs might be as old as 40,000 years, and petroglyph sites in Australia are estimated to date back 27,000 years. Many petroglyphs are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, if not earlier, such as . Around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other precursors of , such as and , began to appear. Petroglyphs were still common though, and some cultures continued using them much longer, even until contact with was made in the 19th and 20th centuries. Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except , with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, , , southwestern North America, and Australia.

Interpretation[]

Many hypotheses explain the purpose of petroglyphs, depending on their location, age, and subject matter. Some many be astronomical markers, maps, and other forms of symbolic communication, including a form of . Petroglyph maps may show trails, symbols communicating time and distances traveled, as well as the local terrain in the form of rivers, landforms, and other geographic features. A petroglyph that represents a landform or the surrounding terrain is known as a . They might also have been a by-product of other rituals: sites in India, for example, have been identified as musical instruments or "".

Some petroglyph images probably have deep cultural and religious significance for the societies that created them; in many cases this significance remains for their descendants. Many petroglyphs are thought to represent some kind of not-yet-fully understood symbolic or ritual language. Later glyphs from the in Scandinavia seem to refer to some form of territorial boundary between , in addition to possible religious meanings. Petroglyph styles has local or regional "dialects" from similar or neighboring peoples. loosely resemble an early form of , although no direct relationship has been established. They are not yet well understood.

Petrogylphs from different continents show similarities. While people would be inspired by their direct surroundings, it is harder to explain the common styles. This could be mere coincidence, an indication that certain groups of people widely from some initial common area, or indication of a common origin. In 1853, presented a paper to the Berwick Naturalists' Club, at which a agreed that the carvings had "... a common origin, and indicate a symbolic meaning, representing some popular thought." In his cataloguing of Scottish rock art, Ronald Morris summarized 104 different theories on their interpretation.

More controversial explanations of similarities are grounded in and the views of . According to these theories it is possible that the similarity of petroglyphs (and other or ) from different cultures and continents is a result of the inherited structure of the human brain.

Other theories suggest that petroglyphs were carved by spiritual leaders, such as , in an , perhaps induced by the use of natural . Many of the (known as ) which recur in petroglyphs and have been shown by David Lewis-Williams to be hardwired into the human brain. They frequently occur in visual disturbances and hallucinations brought on by drugs, , and other stimuli.

Recent analysis of surveyed and GPS-logged petroglyphs around the world has identified commonalities indicating pre-historic (7,000–3,000 BCE) intense , or natural light display in the sky, observable across the continents.

The Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) of the studies present-day links between religion and rock art among the of the . Though the San people's artworks are predominantly paintings, the beliefs behind them can perhaps be used as a basis for understanding other types of rock art, including petroglyphs. To quote from the RARI website:

Using knowledge of San beliefs, researchers have shown that the art played a fundamental part in the religious lives of its San painters. The art captured things from the San's world behind the rock-face: the other world inhabited by spirit creatures, to which dancers could travel in animal form, and where people of ecstasy could draw power and bring it back for healing, rain-making and capturing the game.

List of petroglyph sites[]

Africa[]

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 []

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  • Bambari, and Bangassou in the south; Bwale in the west
  • Toulou
  • Djebel Mela
  • Koumbala

 []

 []

  • The , 250 km south west of Brazzaville

 []

  • in , many carvings and inscriptions dating from before the earliest Egyptian Dynasties to the modern era, including the only painted petroglyph known from the Eastern Desert and drawings of Egyptian dated to 4000 BCE
  • Inscription Rock in South , is a large rock with carvings and writings ranging from Nabatean to Latin, Ancient Greek and Crusder eras located a few miles from the Ain Hudra Oasis. A second rock sites approximately 1 km from the main rock near the Nabatean tombs of Nawamis with carvings of animals including Camels, Gazelles and others. The original archaeologists who investigated these in the 1800s have also left their names carved on this rock.
  • Giraffe petroglyphs found in the region of . The rock faces have been used for extensive quarrying of materials for temple building especially during the period specified as the . The Giraffe depictions are located near a of the king . The images are not dated, but they are probably dated from the Predynastic periods.

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  • Ogooue River Valley
  • Epona
  • Elarmekora
  • Kongo Boumba
  • Lindili
  • Kaya Kaya

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Asia[]

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Petroglyphs at Ughtasar, Armenia

 []

 China[]

See also:

 []

Eight :

 India[]

Petroglyphs in Ladakh, India
  • , , , India.
  • on Dolerite Dyke, near , , India.
  • Kudopi, District, , India.
  • Hiwale, District, , India.
  • Barsu, District, , India.
  • Devihasol, District, , India
  • , District, , India.
  • , District, , India.
  • , , .
  • near Kailashahar in District, , India.
  • , river banks, in Goa
  • , NW Indian Himalaya.

Recently petroglyphs were found at Kollur village in . A large with four petroglyphs that portray men with and a wheel with spokes has been found at Kollur near 35 km from . The discovery was made by . This is the second instance when a dolmen with petrographs has been found in Tamil Nadu, India.

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IRAN ROCK ARTS Map of petroglyphs and pictographs of Iran

Iran Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs in Teimareh, Khomein, Iran

Further information:

During recent years a large number of rock carvings has been identified in different parts of Iran. The vast majority depict the . Rock drawings were found in December 2016 near , , which may be the oldest drawings discovered, with one cluster possibly 40,000 years old. Accurate estimations were unavailable due to US sanctions.

Petroglyphs are the most ancient works of art left by humankind that secretly provide an opening to the past eras of life and help us to discover different aspects of prehistoric lives. Tools to create petroglyphs can be classified by the age and the historical era; they could be flint, thighbone of hunted quarries, or metallic tools. The oldest pictographs in Iran are seen in Yafteh cave in Lorestan that date back 40,000 and the oldest petroglyph discovered belongs to Timareh dating back to 40,800 years ago.

Iran provides exclusive demonstrations of script formation from pictogram, ideogram, linear (2300 BC) or proto Elamite, geometric old Elamite script, Pahlevi script, Arabic script (906 years ago), Kufi script, and Farsi script back to at least 250 years ago. More than 50000 petroglyphs have been discovered, extended over all Iran's states.

A boy posing near petroglyphs

One of the characteristics of Iran’s petroglyphs is the continuity of existence of prehistoric marks on the ancient pottery and bronze sculptures that reveal the impressiveness of petroglyphs of the facades of caves and rocks reflected on ancient work of arts.

This continuity can be traced from eighth millennium BCE by the potteries in Ganj Darreh near Harseen in Kermanshah state, to third and first millennium BCE, considering the bronze period in Lorestan. There is a unique similarity between petroglyph marks and prehistoric potteries as if all these works are done by a sole artist.

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 Japan[]

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Hunting scene in Koksu petroglyphs

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  • "Graffiti Rocks", about 110 km SW of off the highway
  • , west of
  • al Jawf, near al
  • , Umm Samnan, north of Hail
  • , south of Hail
  • , south of
  • , south of Hail
  • , north of
  • , near Tabuk
  • , near al Ula
  • , north of
  • & Ratt, north of Madina
  • Hanakiya, north of Madina
  • Shimli
  • , north of
  • , north of Najran
  • , in Najd

 []

 []

  • Rock carving on Island, Hong Kong. This 3000-year-old rock carving was reported by in 1970

  • Petroglyphs at Cholpon-Ata in

  • Petroglyph found in Awashima shrine (Japan)

Europe[]

  • Petroglyph from Foppe of , , Italy

  • Engravers from , Italy

  • Rock Carving in Tanum, Sweden

  • Carving "The Shoemaker", Brastad, Sweden

  • Petroglyph in Roque Bentayga, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands).

  • Petroglyph at , Ayrshire, Scotland.

  • Bronze Age petroglyphs depicting weapons, Castriño de Conxo, , Galicia.

  • Labyrinth, , Galicia.

  • Cup-and-ring mark, Louro, , Galicia.

  • Deer and cup-and-ring motifs, Tourón, , Galicia.

  • Petroglyphs in Zalavruga, Belomorsk, Karelia, Russia

  • "oranti saltici" of the Rupe Magna in Grosio, Italy

 England[]

  • ,
  • in:
    • ,
    • ,
    • , ,
    • , ,
    • ,

 []

  • Hauensuoli, , Finland

 France[]

  • The sorcerer, Vallée des Merveilles, France

  • The tribe master, Vallée des Merveilles, France

 []

 Italy[]

  • – , Italy (biggest European site, over 350,000)
  • , , Italy
  • , , Italy
  • , , Italy
  • (in ), Italy
  • Grosio - Rupe Magna

  • Grosio - Rupe Magna

  • Grosio - Rupe Magna

[]

  • Leftmost of three central stones, Knockmany Chambered Tomb, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland

  • Central of three central stones, Knockmany Chambered Tomb, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland

  • A stone on the right of the passage, Knockmany Chambered Tomb, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland

  • Sess Kilgreen Chambered Tomb, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland

  • Sess Kilgreen Chambered Tomb, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland

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See also:

 []

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 Spain[]

 Russia[]

 Sweden[]

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  • Kagizman,
  • Cunni Cave,
  • Esatli,
  • Gevaruk Valley,
  • Hakkari Trisin,
  • Latmos /
  • Güdül,

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Central and South America and the Caribbean[]

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 Brazil[]

The oldest reliably dated rock art in the Americas is known as the "Horny Little Man." It is petroglyph depicting a stick figure with an oversized phallus and carved in , a cave in central-eastern Brazil and dates from 12,000 to 9,000 years ago.

  • , a ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • (Holy Lake),
  • Ivolandia,
  • Capivara National Park, Piauí, Brazil

  • Ivolandia, Goiás, Brazil

  • Costao do Santinho, SC, Brazil

 []

  • Numerous rocks boasting thousand-year-old carvings.

  • Modern science and the spectre of ancient man coexist in this thought-provoking image of a petroglyph.

  • Llamas at La Silla

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Fertility symbols, called "Ita Letra" by the local Panambi'y people, in a natural shelter in ,

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  • The only known Amerindian petroglyph in Trinidad

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North America[]

  • Petroglyphs on a Bishop Tuff tableland, eastern

  • Southern

  • Southern

  • Animal print carvings outside of

  • Upside-down man in Western

  • Web-like petroglyph on the White Tank Mountain Regional Park Waterfall Trail,

  • Chipping petroglyph on the White Tank Mountain Regional Park Waterfall Trail,

  • Sample of petroglyphs at Painted Rock near Gila Bend, Arizona off Interstate 8.

 Canada[]

  • ,
  • , ,
  • , north of
  • Agnes Lake, , Ontario
  • , near ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • , east of
  • , British Columbia
  • East Sooke Regional Park, British Columbia

 Mexico[]

  • ,
  • ,
  • Cuenca del Río Victoria, near ,
  • ,
  • , ,
  • , ,
  • , near ,

 United States[]

Petroglyph on western coast of A color picture of some petroglyphs on a tan sandstone cliff face Modern Hopi have interpreted the petroglyphs at 's Petroglyph Point as depictions of the Eagle, Mountain Sheep, Parrot, Horned Toad, and Mountain Lion clans, and the who inhabited the mesa
  • ,
  • ,
  • California Petroglyphs & Pictographs
  • ,
  • ,
  • , ,
  • , , northern ,
  • ,
  • , and
  • ,
  • ,
  • Grimes Point,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • , Leo,
  • , Colorado
  • ,
  • ,
  • Paintlick Mountain, ,
  • ,
  • Picture Canyon,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • Seminole Canyon,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,
  • Originally discovered, locates and documented near in but has been relocated to the campus of the in

Oceania[]

 Australia[]

See also[]

  1. Harmanşah (2014), 5–6.
  2. Harmanşah (2014), 5–6; Canepa, 53.
  3. See: Rawson and Sickman & Soper
  4. . BBC News (2004-03-19). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  5. J. Collingwood Bruce (1868; cited in Beckensall, S., Northumberland's Prehistoric Rock Carvings: A Mystery Explained. Pendulum Publications, Rothbury, Northumberland. 1983:19)
  6. Morris, Ronald (1979) The Prehistoric Rock Art of Galloway and The Isle of Man, Blandford Press,  .
  7. [See: D. Lewis-Williams, A Cosmos in Stone: Interpreting Religion and Society through Rock Art (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2002).]
  8. Peratt, A.L. (2003). "Characteristics for the occurrence of a high-current, Z-pinch aurora as recorded in antiquity". IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 31 (6): 1192. :. 
  9. Peratt, Anthony L.; McGovern, John; Qoyawayma, Alfred H.; Van Der Sluijs, Marinus Anthony; Peratt, Mathias G. (2007). "Characteristics for the Occurrence of a High-Current Z-Pinch Aurora as Recorded in Antiquity Part II: Directionality and Source". IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 35 (4): 778. :. 
  10. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  11. . University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  12. Parkington, J. Morris, D. & Rusch, N. 2008. Karoo rock engravings. Clanwilliam: Krakadouw Trust; Morris, D. & Beaumont, P. 2004. Archaeology in the Northern Cape: some key sites. Kimberley: McGregor Museum.
  13. Khechoyan, Anna. . Academia.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  14. Kamat, Nandkumar. . Prehistoric Goan Shamanism. the Navhind times. Archived from on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  15. . tibetheritagefund.org
  16. . Beta.thehindu.com (2009-09-19). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  17. . iranrockart.com. Archived from on 2014-07-19. 
  18. Foundation, Bradshaw. . bradshawfoundation.com
  19. . independent.co.uk. 12 December 2016. 
  20. Iran Petroglyphs, Universal Common language (book); Iran Petrogylphs, Ideogram Symbols (book); Rock Museums Rock Arts (Iran Petroglyphs) (book); For more information :  ;  ;  ;  ;
  21. ^ Nobuhiro, Yoshida (1994) The Handbook For Petrograph Fieldwork, Chou Art Publishing,  , p. 57
  22. Nobuhiro, Yoshida (1994) The Handbook For Petrograph Fieldwork, Chou Art Publishing,  , p. 54
  23. . Whc.unesco.org (2011-06-28). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  24. Fitzhugh, William W. and Kortum, Richard (2012) . The Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  25. , Giuseppe Tilli. . www.vallecamonicaunesco.it. Retrieved 14 April 2018. 
  26. . Rockartuk.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  27. . Celticland.com. (2007-08-13). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  28. . Europreart.net. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  29. Choi, Charles. Science on MSNBC. 22 Feb 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  30. . www.eso.org. Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  31. . Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  32. . ESO Picture of the Week. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  33. ^ . ometepeislandinfo.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05. 
  34. . Britishcolumbia.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  35. . gabriolamuseum.org. Retrieved 14 April 2018. 
  36. . Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  37. Keyser, James D. (July 1992). Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau. University of Washington Press.  . 
  38. Moore, Donald W. . Desertusa.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  39. . Americantrails.org (2012-01-13). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  40. 2007-07-05 at the .. ohiohistory.org. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  41. . Craborchardmuseum.com. Archived from on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  42. . nps.gov
  43. 2007-06-18 at the .. Nm.blm.gov (2012-09-13). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.

References[]

  • Harmanşah, Ömür (ed) (2014), Of Rocks and Water: An Archaeology of Place, 2014, Oxbow Books,  , 9781782976745
  • (ed). The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, 2007 (2nd edn), British Museum Press,  
  • , in: Sickman L. & Soper A., The Art and Architecture of China, Pelican History of Art, 3rd ed 1971, Penguin (now Yale History of Art), LOC 70-125675

Further reading[]

  • Beckensall, Stan and Laurie, Tim, Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham, Swaledale and Wensleydale, County Durham Books, 1998  
  • Beckensall, Stan, Prehistoric Rock Art in Northumberland, Tempus Publishing, 2001  

External links[]





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