|Posted by [email protected] on January 27, 2017 at 12:25 AM|
A hidden gem lies in the Province of Brescia, Italy. Look carefully at the stone slabs and you will see the fantastic array of prehistoric stone carvings of Val Camonica (Camonica Valley). In fact you will be looking at one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world.
The collection was recognized by Unesco in 1979 and was Italy's first recognized World Heritage Site. Unesco noted more than 140,000 figures and symbols,
However, new discoveries have increased the number of catalogued incisions to between 200,000 and 300,000. Clearly, this was a sacred location that attracted artisits for millennia.
The petroglyphs are spread on all surfaces of the valley, but concentrated in the areas of Darfo Boario Terme, Capo di Ponte, Nadro, Cimbergo and Paspardo.
During the Neolithic the rock art consisted of human figures and sets of geometric elements, such as rectangles, circles, and dots. Also anthropomorphical petroglyphs or so called "oranti" meaning "praying figures", but some scholars date them to the Bronze Age.
The Copper Age saw new symbols emerging from the cosnciouness of these remarkable people. Rocks were stained with celestial symbols, animals, weapons, depictions of ploughing, chains of human-beings. All are preserved mainly in the Archaeological Park of National Massi Cemmo and in that of Asinino-Anvòia (Ossimo), indicate a ritual function linked to the veneration of ancestors.
During the Bronze Age engravings on rock outcrops saw the emergence of weapons and warriors. Although continuing emphasis was given to geometric shapes.
These engravings dated to the1st millennium BC are attributed to the people of Camunni and constitute about 80% . Here we see the hero image of superiority stand tall and proud. Human figures, even large ones, yield their weapons, muscles and their genitals.
There are also figures of labyrinths, footprints, hunting scenes and other symbols. Some even show men having sex with animals! Strange and captivating the scenes are increidable and meant something very important to our distant forebears.