Pictures of the Prehistoric Petroglyph Rock Carvings of Valcamonica, Italy { 237 images } Created 8 Jun 2016

Pictures images photos of the petroglyph rock carvings of Valcamonica, Lombardy, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With somewhere between 200,000 - 300,000 rock prehistoric rock carvings, Valle Camonica has the largest collection of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world. Most of the rock engravings date from the Late Copper to Early Iron Age, 3,200 - 1,600 BC and the Iron age 1,600 - 900 BC, but rock art has been found that dates back to 8000 BC. Much of the rock art is attributed to a tribe known as the Camunni who were fanatical rock artists recording hunting scenes, warriors duelling, rows of schematic figures that seem to be taking part in religious rituals. Much of the prehistoric rock art of the Valle Camonica seems to modern eyes to have religious connotations but other rock art seems to be maps of settlements depicting fields, animals and even early ploughing scenes. It is unclear if these were maps used to claim territorial rites by various tribes or if they were art for arts sake depicting every prehistoric day life. It is clear though from the rock art of Valle Camonica that the Bronze and Iron Ages were dangerous times and fighting was a common event, probably to retain or take land. Some of the warriors depicted in the rock art have halo style helmets and carry swords, axes, spears and small round shields. Some warriors are depicted fighting or hunting from horseback. The houses of the Camunni of Valle Camonica were built as two storey dwellings with the living floor being raised on poles. The ground floor room was probably where animals were kept as they are still today in traditional Alpine houses.

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