Astuvansalmi rock paintings
The Astuvansalmi rock paintings are located in Ristiina, Southern Savonia, Finland at the shores of the lake Yövesi, which is a part of the large lake Saimaa. The paintings are 7.7 to 11.8 metres above the water-level of lake Saimaa, the lake level was much higher at the time the rock paintings were made. There are about 70 paintings in the area, the rock paintings were officially found by the Finnish archaeologist Pekka Sarvas in 1968, though locals knew of them before that. The rock where the paintings are located looks like a human head, the rock has presumably been some kind of a cult or ceremony site. The oldest paintings were made about 3000–2500 BC and they are located at the highest level. The water level changed rapidly with the landslide of Vuoksi, on the level slowly went down 8 metres to its present level. All the paintings were made from boats during the different historical water-levels, other archeological artefacts have been found on the site, at the bottom of the lake, among them small amber statuettes of old gods.
Some animal jewellery was found, one showing a bear head. The jewellery and statuettes refer to religious ceremonies held on the site. Arrowheads have found, dated to 2200–1800 BC and 1300–500 BC. Stone age settlements from about 3300–2800 BC have been found near Astuvansalmi in Heiniemi. The paintings could have a link to the Siberian and North European shamanistic tradition, the Lapps had a belief that the sun was a running Cosmic Sun-Reindeer. The people in the paintings were the shamans, who had a contact with the world through trance with their drumming. Shamanism is the oldest cultural tradition of Finland and the North and it has been actively present already in the Paleolithic age. The elk has traditionally been an important prey for the people of the north. The elk has meant the Center of the Universe, some of the eighteen elk of Astuvansalmi have dots on their heart. All except one is looking west, some are moving and some are standing. The boat was an important means of transport in the regions of prehistoric Finland.
Big boats of skin and wood were already being made before the Vikings started making their big ships, the boats were quite similar to the North American Indian models
A Pictish stone is a type of monumental stele, generally carved or incised with symbols or designs. The earlier stones have no parallels from the rest of the British Isles, in The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland J Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson first classified Pictish stones into three groups. Critics have noted weaknesses in this system but it is widely known, in particular, the classification may be misleading for the many incomplete stones. Allen and Anderson regarded their classes as coming from distinct periods in sequence, Class 1 — unworked stones with symbols only incised. There is no cross on either side, Class 1 stones date back to the 6th, 7th and 8th century. Class 2 — stones of more or less rectangular shape with a large cross, the symbols, as well as Christian motifs, are carved in relief and the cross with its surroundings is filled with designs. Class 2 stones date from the 8th and 9th century, Class 3 — these stones feature no idiomatic Pictish symbols. The stones can be cross-slabs, recumbent gravemarkers, free-standing crosses and they originate in the 8th or 9th century.
Historic Scotland describes this class as too simplistic and says Nowadays this is not considered a useful category, a surviving fragment may belong to a monument that did include Christian imagery. Later Scottish stones merge into wider medieval British and European traditions, many Christian stones from Class II and Class III fall more easily into recognisable categories such as gravestones. A small number of Pictish stones have been associated with burials. Some stones may have marked tribal or lineage territories, some were re-used for other purposes, such as the two Congash Stones near Grantown-on-Spey, now placed as portal stones for an old graveyard. The shaft of an old cross is lying in the field, another Pictish stone, the Dunachton Stone near Kincraig, was used as a door lintel in a barn. This was discovered when the building was dismantled in 1870, the stone was re-erected in the field. Recently it fell, after being photographed in 2007, but was re-erected again a few years by the owner of Dunachton Lodge.
Class I and II stones contain symbols from a set of standard ideograms, many unique to Pictish art. The exact number of distinct Pictish symbols is uncertain as there is debate as to what constitutes a Pictish symbol. The more inclusive estimates are in excess of sixty different symbols, there are representations of everyday objects such as the mirror and comb, which could have been used by high-status Picts
Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
The stone carvings of Val Camonica are located in the Province of Brescia and constitute the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world. The collection was recognized by Unesco in 1979 and was Italys first recognized World Heritage Site, Unesco has formally recognized more than 140,000 figures and symbols, but new discoveries have increased the number of catalogued incisions to between 200,000 and 300,000. The petroglyphs are spread on all surfaces of the valley, but concentrated in the areas of Darfo Boario Terme, Capo di Ponte, Cimbergo, the petroglyph tradition does not end abruptly. Engravings have been identified from the Roman period, medieval period and are possibly even contemporary, most of the cuts have been made using the martellina technique and lesser numbers obtained through graffiti. The figures are simply superimposed without apparent order. Others instead appear to have a relationship between them, for example, 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, among the most-famous symbols found in Valcamonica is the so-called Rosa camuna, which was adopted as the official symbol of the region of Lombardy. In the 1960s, the archaeologist Emmanuel Anati, among the first to study the area. It compared the style and types of the symbols to identify possible correlations with the traditional historical periodization, the earliest rock carvings date back to epipaleolithic, several millennia after the retreat of the glacier that covered the Val Camonica. Those carvings were the work of passing nomadic hunters, following the migrations of their prey, the figures represented in fact depict large animals such as deer and elk, which are the typical prey of that period. Similar representations are present in the town park stone carvings of Luine, during the Neolithic period, agricultural practices spread in Val Camonica, correlated with the formation of the first sedentary settlements.
Similar carvings are present in the Regional Reserve of Rock Engravings of Ceto, the pertaining to the Neolithic of the schematic anthropomorphic figures, so called oranti, is questioned, as some scholars refer them to the Bronze Age. During the Copper Age, new symbols appeared, documenting the emergence of the wheel, the wagon, rocks were stained with celestial symbols, weapons, depictions of plowing, chains of human-beings and other signs. These monuments, preserved mainly in the Archaeological Park of National Massi Cemmo and in that of Asinino-Anvòia, during the Bronze Age, engravings on rock outcrops took on the issue of weapons, reflecting the greater emphasis given them by the warriors in the camunian society of the time. Continuing emphasis was given to geometric shapes, in continuity with engravings from earlier eras, the engravings of the Iron Age are attributed to the people of Camunni and constitute about 70-80% of all census figures. These works manifest their ideals of masculinity and superiority.
Dominant themes include representations of duels and human figures, even ones, flaunting their weapons, their muscles. There are figures of cabins, footprints, hunting scenes, during the Roman domination of Val Camonica petroglyph activity suffered a sharp contraction, entering a phase of latency
The Externsteine relief is a monumental depiction of the Descent from the Cross scene, carved into the side of the Externsteine sandstone formation in the Teutoburg Forest. The Externsteine are located near Detmold, now in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and it is the oldest relief of this type known north of the Alps, dated to the high medieval period. The relief measures 4.8 m high by 3.7 m wide and it is divided into three parts, or registers. The largest, central register shows the Descent from the Cross scene itself, at the center is the cross, to the right is a figure identified as Nicodemus. The legs of this figure have been lost since at least the 17th century, the figure was standing supporting structure. Nicodemus lowers the body of Jesus towards Joseph of Arimathea, who is standing to the left of the cross, to the left of Joseph is the figure of Mary, Mother of Jesus, with her hand supporting the head of her sons corpse. Opposite Mary, on the side of the scene, is John the Apostle.
The upper register shows the torso of the ascended Christ wearing a cross halo, alongside the flag, the figure is holding a small representation of a human figure with raised hands. To the left and right, anthropomorphic representations of Sun and Moon are shown, holding drapes. The lower register shows two kneeling figures, a bearded man and a clothed figure of undetermined sex, both of them caught in the coils of the neck and tail of a two-legged, winged dragon. These figures were identified as Adam and Eve, or as a Saxon warrior. It could alternatively be a bent palm tree, goethe writing in 1824 identified the relief as a work of the Carolingian period. In the same year Karl Theodor Menke dated it to the 12th century, the consensus remains that the relief probably dates to 1160/70
Tanum Municipality is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Tanumshede, with 1,600 inhabitants, the present municipality was formed in 1971 through the amalgamation of three former units. Before the subdivision reform of 1952 there were seven entities in the area, the parish is named after the old farm Tanum, since the first church was built there. The first element is tún country courtyard, the last element is heimr homestead, the rock carvings at Tanum have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heritage area is located around the seat of Tanumshede, covering an area of 18 km2, most carvings show men, and ships. Several show animals such as oxen and horses, Tanum Municipality has made its rock carving the subject of its coat of arms. The Greby grave field, the largest grave field in Bohuslän, Tanum is one of the first municipalities to require urine-separation toilets to help combat the looming global shortage of phosphorus.
Urine is the most concentrated source of phosphorus according to Associate Professor Cynthia Mitchell, of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Grebbestad Fjällbacka Hamburgsund Kämpersvik Rabbalshede Tanumshede Tanum Municipality - Official site Tanums Hällristningsmuseum Underslös - Underslös Museum and Rock Art Research Centre
Rock art in Europe
Rock art has been produced in Europe since the Upper Palaeolithic era through to recent centuries. It is found in all of the regions of the continent. In the post-Palaeolithic period, during prehistory, regional variants grew up across the continent, being produced by settled. Scholarly interest in European rock art began in the 17th century, the defining characteristic of rock art is the fact that it is placed on natural rock surfaces, in this way it is distinct from artworks placed on constructed walls or free-standing sculpture. As such, rock art is a form of art, and includes designs that have been placed on boulder and cliff faces, cave walls and ceilings. Rock art is a phenomenon, being found in many different regions of the world. There are various different forms of rock art and this includes pictographs, which were painted or drawn onto the panel, which were carved or engraved onto the panel, and earth figures such as earthforms and geoglyphs. Some archaeologists consider pits and grooves in the rock, known as cups, rings or cupules, although there are some exceptions, the majority of rock art whose creation was ethnographically recorded had been produced during rituals.
As such, the study of art is a component of the archaeology of religion. The academic field of art studies, a form of archaeology. Various different forms of prehistoric rock art have been found in Atlantic Europe. Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art in the British Isles comprises primarily of cup, during the Early Bronze Age, which lasted from circa 2300 through to c.1500 BCE, various depictions of weaponry were engraved onto rock surfaces across Atlantic Europe. There are hundres of rock art sites that represent variations of figures, cave paintings, rock paintings and especially open air sites are found on the continent, the british isles and all over the Scandinavian peninsula as well as in Finland and Russia. Perhaps the most famous site is the Rock carvings at Alta in the north of Norway with the largest collection of hunter gatherer rock art in northern Europe. Rock art engraved on open surfaces, rather than inside shelters or caves, was produced in the mountainous Alpine region during prehistory.
Similarly, many of the images depict oxen and ploughshares, meaning that they must have been produced following the adoption of agriculture during the Neolithic. It is believed that all date from the same period. Some of the illustrations have been dated to the period, having been produced by the local Camuni people who lived within the Roman Empire
Knowth is a Neolithic passage grave and an ancient monument of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne located 8.4 km west of Drogheda in Irelands valley of the River Boyne. It is the largest passage grave of the Brú na Bóinne complex, the mound is about 12 metres high and 67 metres in diameter, covering roughly a hectare. It contains two passages placed along an east-west line and is encircled by 127 kerbstones, of three are missing, and four badly damaged. The large mound has been estimated to date from between 2500 and 2000 BC, the passages are independent of each other, leading to separate burial chambers. The eastern passage arrives at a chamber, not unlike that found at Newgrange. The right-hand recess is larger and more decorated with megalithic art than the others. The western passage ends in a chamber, which is separated from the passage by a sill stone. The chamber seems to have contained a basin stone which was removed and is now located about two-thirds down the passageway. Knowth contains more than a third of the number of examples of megalithic art in all of Western Europe.
Much of the artwork is found on the kerbstones, particularly approaching the entrances to the passages, many of the motifs are typical, spirals and serpentiform. However, the art at Knowth contains a wide variety of images. Interestingly, much of this artwork was carved on the backs of the stones and this suggests all manner of theories as regards the function of megalithic art within the Neolithic community who built the monuments in the Boyne valley. It is possible that they intended the art to be hidden and it is possible that they simply recycled the stones and reused the other side. There is some evidence for late Neolithic and Bronze Age activity on the site, most of this stems from the existence of a grooved ware timber circle located near the entrance to the eastern passage. Archeological evidence suggests that this was used as a ritual or sacred area after the mound at Knowth had already fallen into disuse. Evidence for ritual consists of a number of votive offerings found in. The hill at Knowth fell into disrepair, and the mound or cairn slipped, the site remained practically unused for a period of two thousand years.
The site was used as a burial site, some 35 cist graves were found on the site during excavations
The Ural pictograms are prehistoric pictograms in Ural dated to 3, 000—2,000 years BC and located along the coasts of Tagil River, Neyva River, Rezh River, Yurozan River and some other sites. The color of the pictograms is different, varying from ochre, probably mixed up with blood, to lilac and brown, the existence of the Ural characters was known long ago. Peter the Great in 1699 ordered the scrivener Yakov Losyov to go there, the Ural pictograms span for about 800 km from north to south. The northernmost ones were found on the rivers Kolva and Vishera, the majority of Ural pictograms, were discovered along the Tagil River. The Ural pictograms are tied to indigenous Ural population, the Finno-Ugric peoples, the pictograms were painted by finger or some tool from the ground level and artificial elevations, which allowed painting at the height of over three meters. Some pictogram lines are 4-5 cm thick, the images are generally aligned to the south. The Ural pictograms include the images of birds, humans, the images of animals mainly depict moose and roe deer.
The birds are represented by waterfowl, mainly ducks and geese. Other images depict snakes and bear, several pictograms of living beings feature skeleton pattern, showing the internal organs. In 2001 a carved image was found at the River Rezh, according to Russian researcher Valeriy Chernetsov, who published The Rock Images of Ural, the Ural pictograms generally depict the hunting utensil. The pictograms, however, as emphasized by Chernetsov, have no association with fishing as no images of fishes have been found on sites. Media related to Ural characters at Wikimedia Commons Kamyana Mohyla Vinča signs
Saraakallio rock paintings
Saraakallio rock paintings are situated in Central Finland. The rock site lies on the shore of Lake Saraavesi. The rocky cliff of Saraakallio is an impressive landmark rising on the shore of the lake, an important water route Keitele Canal runs in front of the paintings. There are two art areas, Saraakallio I and Saraakallio II and it is difficult to count and list all the paintings of Saraakallio, partly because they are so many and varied, partly because many of them are blurred, fragmentary or have been painted over. The amount of pictures is between 50–200, and therefore it is the biggest rock art area in Finland, the main examinations of Saraakallio are made by amateur archaeologist Pekka Kivikäs. Oldest paintings are circa 6600 years old, the most common themes in Saraakallio paintings are deer and boat figures. Saraakallio rock paintings are made by using red paint, which is made of hematite-containing soil mixed presumably with blood, Pictures of Saraakallio I Pictures of Saraakallio II
The Camunian rose is the name given to a particular symbol represented among the rock carvings of Val Camonica. It consists of a closed line that winds around nine cup marks. It is engraved in the symmetrical, asymmetrical or swastika. There are many theories about its meaning, Emmanuel Anati suggests that it might symbolize a complex religious concept, in Val Camonica this motif dates back to the Iron Age, particularly from the 7th to 1st centuries BC. There is only one doubtful case datable at the Final Bronze Age and these figures are placed mainly in the Middle Camonica Valley, but numerous cases are in the Low Valley too. The motif has been studied by Paola Farina, who created a corpus of all the camunian roses known in Val Camonica. It is the widespread type of “camunian rose”, there are 56 examples. The symbol is called in Italian rosa camuna because it looks like a flower, a stylized camunian rose has become the symbol of the Lombardy Region. Camunni Rock Drawings in Valcamonica Looped square Swastika Stone Fradkin, Anati, Valcamonica preistorica - Guida ai parchi acheologici.
Capo di Ponte, Edizioni del Centro, la “rosa camuna” nell’arte rupestre della Valcamonica, NAB,6, pp. 185–205. The sun images in the Rock Art of Valcamonica and Valtellina, TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin 9, the Camunnian Rose, Valcamonica Rock Art, TRACCE Online Rock Art Bulletin 7, May 1997