2007년 06월 19일
Most important sites
Valcamonica is a north-south oriented valley, 80 km long, in the Lombards Alps, north of Brescia and Iseo Lake, almost two hours by car from Milan.
His name took origin by a pre-indoeuropean people named Camunni, conquered by Rome in 16 BC.
The engraved zone (40 km long) corresponds to the lower part of middle valley, between the peaks of Concarena and Pizzo Badile Camuno (3000 meters high).
All the engraved figures are pecked in a hard permian sandstone, heavily polished by the Wurm glacier. A beautiful natural blackboard, collecting hundreds of thousands figures from various prehistoric periods.
Pitoti, meaning puppets in the dialect of Valcamonica, is the term used by the indigenous population for the figures engraved by their ancestors.
The engravings of the CAMUNNI were only noted in 1909 when Walter Laeng, a Brescian geographer, gave news about two engraved boulders at Pian delle Greppe of Cemmo in the municipality of Capo di Ponte: these two boulders are now one of the most important Copper Age monuments in Italy.
During this centrury many other sites were found by scholars: here a short description of the most important sites.
Naquane (Capo di Ponte)
The National Park of Engraved Rocks of Naquane (475 m high) at Capo di Ponte was created in 1955 by the Archaeological Superintendence of Lombardy, realizing an old dream of veteran pioneers, Laeng an Bonafini. It is unique in Italy. Inside you find 104 engraved rocks: the masterpieces of Iron Age Rock Art. Best known are the rocks n. 50, 1, 35, 57... and going on with beautiful rock waves polished by the glacier.
Inside also Copper Age stelae taken form Ossimo (Ossimo7-8) and Cemmo (Cemmo 3-4).
To visit it you need two hours (or a week, it depends). It is closed on Monday. Five dollars the ticket.
You can reach Naquane from Capo di Ponte (15 minutes by feet), and Capo di Ponte by train from Brescia. It is visited by over than 80.000 persons each year.
The first site in Valcamonica recognized in 1909 by Walter Laeng: two rocks with vertical surfaces engraved in many phases during Copper Age.
Here are the Remedellian daggers, with triangular blade and half-moon shaped handle, a "fossil guide" in Rupestrian Archaeology. It is possible to find them also in many Copper Age stelae from the Alps (Aosta, Sion, Arco). The real objects were found in Remedello sud necropolis (grave 83).
Animals take a big place in these boulders: aligned deers, chamois, foxes are engraved in regular rows. All figures take place in the panels with an order typical of Copper Age style, showing perhaps a religious aim.
The two boulders were completely re-traced by Footsteps of Man in 1993 for "Le Pietre degli Dei" (God Stones), an exhibition organized by the Bergamo Archaeological Museum.
The first engravings were found at Luine in 1955. Now a Comunal Park is established, with more than 50 big rocks engraved. The most interesting Bronze Age Rock Art is here, unfortunately very difficult to see.
Even more difficult to see are the few figures engraved in the so-called Palaeolithic or Post-Palaeolithic style: some big animals naturalistically represented. Between them a deer and an elk.
One of the richest zones in Valcamonica Rock Art is on the mountain side of the Municipality of Paspardo, which take part in the inter-municipal Rock Art Reserve (Cemmo - Cimbergo - Paspardo). Many sites here: Scale di Paspardo, Dos Sottolajolo, In Valle, Vite, Capitello dei Due Pini, Dos Costapeta, Dos Sulif. Rock Art periods from late Neolithic to Iron Age and Medieval are represented.
- At Vite two distinct periods in 30 rocks: late Neolithic-first Copper Age with topographic engravings, overlapped by Iron Age warriors and duels. Near an engraved rock was found a stone polished axe.
- At In Valle one of the largest engraved rocks in Valcamonica, well known for facing deers and big Iron Age warriors with shield and spear.
- At Dos Sottolajolo a very easy zone to reach, close to the village.
- Inside the village a topographic engraved rock (late Neolithic-first Copper Age), called the "Roccia degli Spiriti" (The rock of the spirits).
- At Capitello dei Due Pini (Two Pines Capitel) a very good panoramic point facing all the middle valley, and the famous Copper Age panel (see tracing in Copper Age section of Rock Art periods page).
Every year at Paspardo Footsteps of Man take a fieldwork in surveying and tracing engraved rocks.
Foppe di Nadro
A very interesting Regional Park is situated at Foppe di Nadro, not far from Capo di Ponte and in the border of Naquane National Park. Many large polished rocks show thousands of figures.
More than 100 pairs of footprints (middle Iron Age) in rock n.6, Bronze Age weapons and Iron Age itifallic warriors at rock n. 4, huts and camunnian roses at rock n. 24.
At the beginnig of the Park you can find a wodden sperimental reconstruction in natural size of an Iron Age granary, like the ones engraved.
- Other important sites at Bedolina (well-known Iron Age topographic engravings), Seradina (rock n. 12 is one the largest, with interesting ploughing scenes), Corni Freschi di Darfo (Copper Age halberds), Sellero (Hercules' god representation, topographic engravings, cup--marks) and Sonico (concentric and radiated circles, meanders, palettes).
Valcamonica rock art phases and cronology
Thousands (hundreds of thousands) of figures in Rock Art of Valcamonica, with various superpositions, and comparisons between iconography and archaeological objects, allow identification of a reliable succession in Rock Art styles and periods, which corresponds to archaeological stratigraphy.
In Valcamonica we can find :
Palaeolithic-post Paleolithic figures
a few big figures of hunted animals (elk, deer) at Luine
(or by the beginning of Copper Age, 3500-2800 BC) figures, with maps (rectangular or round geometric topographic figures), spirals and probably no more (someone thinks that "orants" (anthropomorphic figures) are from this period) at Luine, Paspardo, Vite, Dos Sottolajolo.
Copper Age figures
triangular blade (Remedello and "Campaniforme" culture 2800-2200 BC) daggers, triangular body human figures (like dancing, male and female, often sexuated), deers and pigs, ploughing scenes with cows, weapons (axes), icons of the sun and something like "carpets", at Borno, Ossimo, Darfo, Foppe di Nadro, Cemmo, Paspardo..
Bronze Age figures (2200-800 BC)
daggers, axes, weapon's compositions, orants (male and female, often sexuated) with orthogonal arms and legs, at Luine, Foppe di Nadro, Naquane.
Iron Age figures (800-16 BC)
the big explosion in rock art (80% of all figures), divided in 5 periods, with warriors (often ityphallic), duels, riders, single figures and scenes (like dueling, hunting, sexual or ploughing scenes), dogs, birds, wood-stone houses, etruscan inscriptions, footprints (like FOOTSTEPS of MAN...), swords, spears, snakes, spirals, cup-marks, everywhere. A big concentration in National Park of Engraved Rock at Naquane (Capo di Ponte). Always MALE and never FEMALE.
Roman, medieval, and historical figures
a few figures, with latin inscriptions, keys, crosses, castles, dates, letters, cars, churches, names... and it's going on.