Cave drawings

Rock carvings are painted images, carved or scratched on rocks, stone blocks, caverns vaults. In the valley of the Camonica in the northeast of the Italian region of Lombardy, in the foothills of the Central Alps thousands of rock paintings were found, depicting scenes of life and hunting, objects, animals, etc. - about 24 thousand rocks and stone blocks were preserved in about 300 thousand images .



Where is the largest collection of rock paintings



The petroglyphs - as they call signs carved on stones - reflect the history of primitive people who inhabited Val Camonica for thousands of years. The oldest petroglyphs are over 8 thousand years old. They belong to the Upper Paleolithic period and depict animals and hunting scenes. During the Neolithic, images of domestic scenes and ritual rituals appeared.


With the beginning of the Bronze Age, primitive artists carved out entire rock compositions: scenes of everyday life, war, funeral rites. Drawings of the Iron Age (the beginning of the 1st millennium BC.O.) belong to the artists of the people, or the tribe, kamunov, hence the name of the valley - Kamonika. It was in that era that most of the rock paintings studied were created: human figures, huge faces, mazes and various signs. “Drawn” in one of two ways: either knocked out a drawing in a stone — at that time, it was likely that they were beaten with a stone on a sharp piece of flint — or they were applied with a pointed metal or stone tool. Moreover, the technique of ancient images was improved all the time. The last petroglyphs of Val Camonica date back to the end of the 1st century. BC Oe., when this territory was conquered by the Romans, who forced the local tribe to leave the ancient and inhabited places.


The most interesting facts

Extraordinary “engravings” in the Camonica valley were discovered only in 1909, when a geographer from Brescia Walter Leng stumbled upon them. The inhabitants of the valley knew about these drawings, of course, but some did not attach any importance to the cave paintings and disdainfully called them caricatures, while others probably thought that these drawings survived from ancient times when magic and witchcraft flourished.


OK. 15 thousandyears ago, primitive artists decorated the cave paintings of Lasko in the southwest of France with rock paintings. The walls of the cave are completely covered with amazing images of animals - bulls, bison, rhinos, horses, deer, life-sized ocher, soot and circled dark contours - more than 500 images in total. In order to preserve the monument in 1980, a copy of its two halls was created near the cave of Lasko.


Among the primitive signs carved in the gorge of Val-Camonica, one often comes across the “Kamun rose”, which, in a slightly stylized form, became one of the emblems of the Italian region of Lombardy.