PHOTO: Robert Forbes Murphy 46 1'28.94" 1020'59.06"

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Rock Drawings in Valcamonica - 360*



The stone carvings of Val Camonica constitute one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world and were the first World Heritage recognized by the Unesco in Italy (1979). UNESCO has recognized more than 140,000 figure, but new discoveries have progressively increased the total number of cataloged incisions, up to 200,000 if not 300,000. The petroglyphs are spread on all surface of the valley, but concentrated in the areas of Darfo Boario Terme, Capo di Ponte, Nadro, Cimbergo and Paspardo. The incisions were made over a time period of eight thousand years, until the Iron Age (I millennium BC), while the petroghyphs of the last period are attributed to the people of Camunni mentioned by Latin sources. The petroglyphs tradition does not end abruptly: engravings have been identified - although in very small number, not comparable with the great prehistoric activity - from the Roman period, medieval or even contemporary, until the nineteenth century. Most of the cuts have been made with the technique of "martellina", and lesser numbers obtained through graffiti The figures are sometimes simply superimposed without apparent order, but instead often appear in logical relationship between them, a picture of a religious rite or a hunting scene or fight, this approach explains the scheme of images, each of which is an ideogram that is not the real object, but its "idea". Their function is due to celebratory rituals, commemorative, initiatory and propitiatory - first in the field of religion, then even secular - that were held in special occasions, single or recurrent. Among the most notorious symbols found in Valcamonica stands out the so-called "Rosa camuna" (Camunian rose), which was adopted as the official symbol of the region of Lombardy.


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