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Golpayegan rockart in Iran or teimareh rockart Golpayegan.petroglyphs0101.jpg
Golpayegan rockart in Iran or teimareh rockart
Rock carving known as Meerkatze
(named by archaeologist Leo Frobenius), rampant lionesses in Wadi Mathendous, Mesak Settafet region of Libya. Libya 5321 Meercatze (Gatti Mammoni) Petroglyphs Wadi Methkandoush Luca Galuzzi 2007.jpg
Rock carving known as Meerkatze (named by archaeologist Leo Frobenius), rampant lionesses in Wadi Mathendous, Mesak Settafet region of Libya.
European petroglyphs: Laxe dos carballos
in Campo Lameiro
, Galicia, Spain (4th-2nd millennium BCE), depicting cup and ring marks and deer hunting scenes Laxe dos carballos 01.JPG
European petroglyphs: Laxe dos carballos in Campo Lameiro , Galicia, Spain (4th–2nd millennium BCE), depicting cup and ring marks and deer hunting scenes
Petroglyph of a camel; Negev, southern Israel. Negev camel petroglyph.jpg
Petroglyph of a camel; Negev, southern Israel.
Reclining Buddha at Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka. The image house that originally enclosed the remains can be seen. Polonnaruwa.JPG
Reclining Buddha at Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka. The image house that originally enclosed the remains can be seen.

Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images. Petroglyphs are found worldwide, and are often associated with prehistoric peoples. The word comes from the Greek prefix petro-, from πέτραpetra meaning "stone", and γλύφωglýphō meaning "to carve", and was originally coined in French as pétroglyphe.

Rock (geology) A naturally occurring solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids

A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks are usually grouped into three main groups: igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks and sedimentary rocks. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, the crust.

Abrasion (geology)

Abrasion is a process of erosion which occurs when material being transported wears away at a surface over time. It is the process of friction caused by scuffing, scratching, wearing down, marring, and rubbing away of materials. The intensity of abrasion depends on the hardness, concentration, velocity and mass of the moving particles. Abrasion generally occurs four ways. Glaciation slowly grinds rocks picked up by ice against rock surfaces. Solid objects transported in river channels make abrasive surface contact with the bed and walls. Objects transported in waves breaking on coastlines cause abrasion. And, finally, abrasion can be caused by wind transporting sand or small stones against surface rocks.

Rock art human-made markings on natural stone

In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural stone; it is largely synonymous with parietal art. A global phenomenon, rock art is found in many culturally diverse regions of the world. It has been produced in many contexts throughout human history, although the majority of rock art that has been ethnographically recorded has been produced as a part of ritual. Such artworks are often divided into three forms: petroglyphs, which are carved into the rock surface, pictographs, which are painted onto the surface, and earth figures, formed on the ground. The oldest known rock art dates from the Upper Palaeolithic period, having been found in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Archaeologists studying these artworks believe that they likely had magico-religious significance.


The term petroglyph should not be confused with petrograph, which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face. Both types of image belong to the wider and more general category of rock art or parietal art. Petroforms, or patterns and shapes made by many large rocks and boulders over the ground, are also quite different. Inuksuit are also unique, and found only in the Arctic (except for reproductions and imitations built in more southerly latitudes).

Parietal art

Parietal art is the archaeological term for artwork done on cave walls or large blocks of stone. One of the most famous examples of parietal art is the Grotte Chauvet in France. Also called "cave art", it refers to cave paintings, drawings, etchings, carvings, and pecked artwork on the interior of rock shelters and caves. The purpose of these remains of the Paleolithic and other periods of prehistoric art is not known. However, some theories suggest that these paintings were not solely for decoration as many of them were located in parts of caves that were not easily accessed.

Another form of petroglyph, normally found in literate cultures, a rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone. While these relief carvings are a category of rock art, sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture, [1] they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, which concentrate on engravings and paintings by prehistoric or nonliterate cultures. Some of these reliefs exploit the rock's natural properties to define an image. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures, especially in the ancient Near East. [2] Rock reliefs are generally fairly large, as they need to be to make an impact in the open air. Most have figures that are larger than life-size.

Rock relief relief sculpture carved into solid rock

A rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone. They are a category of rock art, and sometimes found as part of, or in conjunction with, rock-cut architecture. However, they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, which concentrate on engravings and paintings by prehistoric peoples. A few such works exploit the natural contours of the rock and use them to define an image, but they do not amount to man-made reliefs. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures throughout human history, and were especially important in the art of the ancient Near East. Rock reliefs are generally fairly large, as they need to be in order to have an impact in the open air. Most of those discussed here have figures that are over life-size, and in many the figures are multiples of life-size.

Relief Sculptural technique

Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is actually performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts seemingly raised. The technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, which is a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, and is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round, especially one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point, especially in stone. In other materials such as metal, clay, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, and monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting.

Rock-cut architecture The creation of structures, buildings, and sculptures by excavating solid rock

Rock-cut architecture is the creation of structures, buildings, and sculptures by excavating solid rock where it naturally occurs. Rock-cut architecture is designed and made by man from the start to finish. In India and China, the terms 'cave' and 'cavern' are often applied to this form of man-made architecture. However, caves and caverns, that began in natural form, are not considered to be 'rock-cut architecture' even if extensively modified. Although rock-cut structures differ from traditionally built structures in many ways, many rock-cut structures are made to replicate the facade or interior of traditional architectural forms. Interiors were usually carved out by starting at the roof of the planned space and then working downward. This technique prevents stones falling on workers below. The three main uses of rock-cut architecture were temples, tombs and cave dwellings.

Stylistically, a culture's rock relief carvings relate to other types of sculpture from period concerned. Except for Hittite and Persian examples, they are generally discussed as part of the culture's sculptural practice. [3] The vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are also found. The term relief typically excludes relief carvings inside natural or human-made caves, that are common in India. Natural rock formations made into statues or other sculpture in the round, most famously at the Great Sphinx of Giza, are also usually excluded. Reliefs on large boulders left in their natural location, like the Hittite İmamkullu relief, are likely to be included, but smaller boulders described as stele or carved orthostats.

Great Sphinx of Giza sculpture

The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre.

İmamkullu relief

The Hittite İmamkullu relief is a rock relief near the town of İmamkullu in Tomarza district in Kayseri Province, Turkey. In Turkish it is known as Yazılı Kaya and Şimşekkaya. Rock reliefs are a prominent aspect of Hittite art.

Stele Stone or wooden slab erected for funerals or commemorative purposes

A stele, or occasionally stela, when derived from Latin, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument. Grave stelae were often used for funerary or commemorative purposes. Stelae as slabs of stone would also be used as ancient Greek and Roman government notices or as boundary markers to mark borders or property lines.


Composite image of petroglyphs from Scandinavia (Haljesta, Vastmanland in Sweden). Nordic Bronze Age. The glyphs have been painted to make them more visible. Haljesta.jpg
Composite image of petroglyphs from Scandinavia (Häljesta, Västmanland in Sweden). Nordic Bronze Age. The glyphs have been painted to make them more visible.
A petroglyph of a caravan of bighorn sheep near Moab, Utah, United States; a common theme in glyphs from the desert Southwest and Great Basin MtnSheepPetroglyph.jpg
A petroglyph of a caravan of bighorn sheep near Moab, Utah, United States; a common theme in glyphs from the desert Southwest and Great Basin

Some petroglyphs might be as old as 40,000 years, and petroglyph sites in Australia are estimated to date back 27,000 years. Many petroglyphs are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, if not earlier, such as Kamyana Mohyla. Around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other precursors of writing systems, such as pictographs and ideograms, began to appear. Petroglyphs were still common though, and some cultures continued using them much longer, even until contact with Western culture was made in the 19th and 20th centuries. Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica, with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, southwestern North America, and Australia.

Upper Paleolithic Subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age

The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, according to some theories coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity Humans and before the advent of agriculture.

Kamyana Mohyla Archaeological site in Ukraine

Kamyana Mohyla is an archaeological site in the Molochna River valley, about a mile from the village of Terpinnya, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine. Petroglyphs of Kamyana Mohyla are dated from Upper Paleolithic to Medieval, with Stone Age depictions subjected to most archaeological interest.

Writing system system of visual symbols recorded on paper or another medium, used to represent elements expressible in language

A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in also being a reliable form of information storage and transfer. The processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing is usually recorded onto a durable medium, such as paper or electronic storage, although non-durable methods may also be used, such as writing on a computer display, on a blackboard, in sand, or by skywriting.


Many hypotheses explain the purpose of petroglyphs, depending on their location, age, and subject matter. Some many be astronomical markers, maps, and other forms of symbolic communication, including a form of proto-writing. Petroglyph maps may show trails, symbols communicating time and distances traveled, as well as the local terrain in the form of rivers, landforms, and other geographic features. A petroglyph that represents a landform or the surrounding terrain is known as a geocontourglyph. They might also have been a by-product of other rituals: sites in India, for example, have been identified as musical instruments or "rock gongs". [4]

Proto-writing consists of visible marks communicating limited information. Such systems emerged from earlier traditions of symbol systems in the early Neolithic, as early as the 7th millennium BCE. They used ideographic or early mnemonic symbols or both to represent a limited number of concepts, in contrast to true writing systems, which record the language of the writer.

Rock gong mysical instrument made of rock and struck like a drum

A rock gong is a lithophone. Found in Africa, Asia, and Europe, the gong is a slab of rock that is hit like a drum. Other regional names for the rock gong include kungering, kwerent dutse, gwangalan, kungereng, kongworian, and kuge. These names are all onomatopœic, except for "kuge" which is the Hausa word for a double iron bell and "dawal" which is the Ge`ez word for a church's stone gong.

Some petroglyph images probably have deep cultural and religious significance for the societies that created them; in many cases this significance remains for their descendants. Many petroglyphs are thought to represent some kind of not-yet-fully understood symbolic or ritual language. Later glyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age in Scandinavia seem to refer to some form of territorial boundary between tribes, in addition to possible religious meanings. Petroglyph styles has local or regional "dialects" from similar or neighboring peoples. Siberian inscriptions loosely resemble an early form of runes, although no direct relationship has been established. They are not yet well understood.

Petrogylphs from different continents show similarities. While people would be inspired by their direct surroundings, it is harder to explain the common styles. This could be mere coincidence, an indication that certain groups of people migrated widely from some initial common area, or indication of a common origin. In 1853, George Tate presented a paper to the Berwick Naturalists' Club, at which a John Collingwood Bruce agreed that the carvings had "... a common origin, and indicate a symbolic meaning, representing some popular thought." [5] In his cataloguing of Scottish rock art, Ronald Morris summarized 104 different theories on their interpretation. [6]

More controversial explanations of similarities are grounded in Jungian psychology and the views of Mircea Eliade. According to these theories it is possible that the similarity of petroglyphs (and other atavistic or archetypal symbols) from different cultures and continents is a result of the genetically inherited structure of the human brain.

Other theories suggest that petroglyphs were carved by spiritual leaders, such as shamans, in an altered state of consciousness, [7] perhaps induced by the use of natural hallucinogens. Many of the geometric patterns (known as form constants) which recur in petroglyphs and cave paintings have been shown by David Lewis-Williams to be hardwired into the human brain. They frequently occur in visual disturbances and hallucinations brought on by drugs, migraine, and other stimuli.

Recent analysis of surveyed and GPS-logged petroglyphs around the world has identified commonalities indicating pre-historic (7,000–3,000 BCE) intense auroras, or natural light display in the sky, observable across the continents. [8] [9]

The Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) of the University of the Witwatersrand studies present-day links between religion and rock art among the San people of the Kalahari Desert. [10] Though the San people's artworks are predominantly paintings, the beliefs behind them can perhaps be used as a basis for understanding other types of rock art, including petroglyphs. To quote from the RARI website:

Using knowledge of San beliefs, researchers have shown that the art played a fundamental part in the religious lives of its San painters. The art captured things from the San's world behind the rock-face: the other world inhabited by spirit creatures, to which dancers could travel in animal form, and where people of ecstasy could draw power and bring it back for healing, rain-making and capturing the game. [11]

List of petroglyph sites




Flag of the Central African Republic.svg  Central African Republic

  • Bambari, Lengo and Bangassou in the south; Bwale in the west
  • Toulou
  • Djebel Mela
  • Koumbala

Flag of Chad.svg  Chad

Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Republic of the Congo

Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt

  • Wadi Hammamat in Qift, many carvings and inscriptions dating from before the earliest Egyptian Dynasties to the modern era, including the only painted petroglyph known from the Eastern Desert and drawings of Egyptian reed boats dated to 4000 BCE
  • Inscription Rock in South Sinai, is a large rock with carvings and writings ranging from Nabatean to Latin, Ancient Greek and Crusder eras located a few miles from the Ain Hudra Oasis. A second rock sites approximately 1 km from the main rock near the Nabatean tombs of Nawamis with carvings of animals including Camels, Gazelles and others. The original archaeologists who investigated these in the 1800s have also left their names carved on this rock.
  • Giraffe petroglyphs found in the region of Gebel el-Silsila. The rock faces have been used for extensive quarrying of materials for temple building especially during the period specified as the New Kingdom. The Giraffe depictions are located near a stela of the king Amenhotep IV. The images are not dated, but they are probably dated from the Predynastic periods.

Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia

Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon

  • Ogooue River Valley
  • Epona
  • Elarmekora
  • Kongo Boumba
  • Lindili
  • Kaya Kaya

Flag of Libya.svg  Libya

Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco

Lion Plate at Twyfelfontein in Namibia (2014) Lion Plate at Twyfelfontein, Namibia (2014).jpg
Lion Plate at Twyfelfontein in Namibia (2014)

Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia

Flag of Niger.svg  Niger

Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa

Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia


Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia

Petroglyphs at Ughtasar, Armenia Petrogliph-Ughtasar-Armenia2.jpg
Petroglyphs at Ughtasar, Armenia

Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan

Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China

Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong

Eight sites in Hong Kong:

Flag of India.svg India

Petroglyphs in Ladakh, India Petroglyphs, Ladakh, NW India.JPG
Petroglyphs in Ladakh, India

Recently petroglyphs were found at Kollur village in Tamil Nadu. A large dolmen with four petroglyphs that portray men with trident and a wheel with spokes has been found at Kollur near Triukoilur 35 km from Villupuram. The discovery was made by K.T. Gandhirajan. This is the second instance when a dolmen with petrographs has been found in Tamil Nadu, India. [16] In October 2018, petroglyphs were discovered in the Ratnagiri and Rajapur areas in the Konkan region of western Maharashtra. Those rock carvings which might date back to 10,000 BC, depict animals like hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses which aren't found in that region of India. [17]


During recent years a large number of rock carvings has been identified in different parts of Iran. The vast majority depict the ibex. [18] [19] Rock drawings were found in December 2016 near Golpayegan, Iran, which may be the oldest drawings discovered, with one cluster possibly 40,000 years old. Accurate estimations were unavailable due to US sanctions. [20]

Petroglyphs are the most ancient works of art left by humankind that provide an opening to the past eras of life and help us to discover different aspects of prehistoric lives. Tools to create petroglyphs can be classified by the age and the historical era; they could be flint, thighbone of hunted quarries, or metallic tools. The oldest pictographs in Iran are seen in Yafteh cave in Lorestan that date back 40,000 and the oldest petroglyph discovered belongs to Timareh dating back to 40,800 years ago.

Iran provides demonstrations of script formation from pictogram, ideogram, linear (2300 BC) or proto Elamite, geometric old Elamite script, Pahlevi script, Arabic script (906 years ago), Kufi script, and Farsi script back to at least 250 years ago. More than 50000 petroglyphs have been discovered, extended over all Iran's states. [21]

Flag of Israel.svg  Israel

Flag of Japan.svg Japan

Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan

Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan

Hunting scene in Koksu petroglyphs Koksu Petroglyphs.JPG
Hunting scene in Koksu petroglyphs

Flag of Laos.svg  Laos

Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea

Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan

Flag of Macau.svg  Macau

Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia

Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan

Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines

Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia

Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan

Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam


File:Sweden-Brastad-Petroglyph Skomakaren-Aug 2003.jpg|Carving "The Shoemaker", Brastad, Sweden File:Petroglifo bentayga.jpg|Petroglyph in Roque Bentayga, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). File:DalgarvenMillCup&Ring.jpg|Petroglyph at Dalgarven Mill, Ayrshire, Scotland. File:Petroglifos do Castrinho de Conxo.jpg|Bronze Age petroglyphs depicting weapons, Castriño de Conxo, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. File:Labirinto do Outeiro do Cribo.JPG|Labyrinth, Meis, Galicia. File:Laxe das Rodas 01.jpg|Cup-and-ring mark, Louro, Muros, Galicia. File:Touron petr.JPG|Deer and cup-and-ring motifs, Tourón, Ponte Caldelas, Galicia. File:Petroglyphs in Zalavruga, Belomorsk, Karelia, Russia 03.jpg|Petroglyphs in Zalavruga, Belomorsk, Karelia, Russia </gallery>

Flag of England.svg England

Flag of Finland.svg  Finland

  • Hauensuoli, Hanko, Finland

Flag of France.svg France

Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland

Flag of Italy.svg Italy

Northern Ireland

Flag of Norway.svg  Norway

Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal

Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Flag of Spain.svg Spain

Flag of Russia.svg Russia

Mammoth on the basalt stone in Sikachi-Alyan, Russia Petroglify Sikachi-Aliana 2.JPG
Mammoth on the basalt stone in Sikachi-Alyan, Russia

Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden

Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey

Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine

Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales

Central and South America and the Caribbean

Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina

Flag of Aruba.svg  Aruba

Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil

The oldest reliably dated rock art in the Americas is known as the "Horny Little Man." It is petroglyph depicting a stick figure with an oversized phallus and carved in Lapa do Santo, a cave in central-eastern Brazil and dates from 12,000 to 9,000 years ago. [29]

Flag of Chile.svg  Chile

Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia

Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica

Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic

Flag of Grenada.svg  Grenada

Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua

Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay

Fertility symbols, called "Ita Letra" by the local Panambi'y people, in a natural shelter in Amambay, Paraguay Fertility symbols found in natural shelter in Amambay, Paraguay.jpeg
Fertility symbols, called "Ita Letra" by the local Panambi'y people, in a natural shelter in Amambay, Paraguay

Flag of Peru.svg  Peru

Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico

Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg  Saint Kitts and Nevis

Flag of Suriname.svg  Suriname

Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago

  • Caurita
    The only known Amerindian petroglyph in Trinidad Caurita Petroglyph.jpg
    The only known Amerindian petroglyph in Trinidad

Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela

North America

Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada

Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico

Near Parras, Coahuila ParrasPetroglyphs.jpg
Near Parras, Coahuila

Flag of the United States.svg United States

Petroglyph on western coast of Hawaii Petroglyph on the western coast of Hawaii.jpg
Petroglyph on western coast of Hawaii
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Hawaii petroglyph men.jpg
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Modern Hopi have interpreted the petroglyphs at Mesa Verde National Park's Petroglyph Point as depictions of the Eagle, Mountain Sheep, Parrot, Horned Toad, and Mountain Lion clans, and the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the mesa Petroglyph Point at Mesa Verde National Park by RO.JPG
Modern Hopi have interpreted the petroglyphs at Mesa Verde National Park's Petroglyph Point as depictions of the Eagle, Mountain Sheep, Parrot, Horned Toad, and Mountain Lion clans, and the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the mesa


Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia

See also

Related Research Articles

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Prehistoric art art produced in preliterate, prehistorical cultures

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Ometepe island

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Gobustan National Park nature reserve

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Edakkal Caves Caves and archaeological site in India

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Badanj Cave Cave and archaeological site in Bosnia

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Sydney rock engravings

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Ughtasar Petroglyphs

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The stone carvings of Val Camonica are located in the Province of Brescia, Italy, and constitute 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 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, Nadro, Cimbergo and Paspardo.

Vallée des merveilles

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Thovarimala Ezhuthupara is a remotely located rock shelter in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India. Pre-historic stone age petroglyphs dating from around 1000 BC and after had been discovered here at a height of 500 m on Thovarimala. One can see the stone age rock engravings on the walls of these natural caves from top of Thovarimala. The rare historic treasure at Thovarimala throwing light into human habitation in the Wayanad area since ancient times, is yet to receive the protection of agencies like Archaeology Department, which preserves the Edakkal Caves just five kilometers away. The carvings, found on the upper side of the cave, depict few geometrical figures, an arrow, and one carving closely resembles a female genital organ. Recently more writings were located in this cave. The name Ezhuthupara means "writings on the stone."

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site

The Painted Rock Petroglyph Site is a collection of hundreds of ancient petroglyphs near the town of Theba, Arizona, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The site is operated and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and includes an improved campground as well as an informative walking trail showcasing the petroglyphs.

Painted Rock or Painted Rocks may refer to:

Aboriginal sites of New South Wales

Aboriginal sites of New South Wales consist of a large number of places in the Australian state of New South Wales where it is still possible to see visible signs of the activities and culture of the Australian Aboriginals who previously occupied these areas.

Serranía de Chiribiquete hill in Colombia

The Serranía de Chiribiquete or Chiribiquete Mountains are a group of isolated table mountains in the Amazon Region of Colombia. The mountains are part of the western edge of the Guiana Shield. The area is protected as a national park. This area is habitat for the Chiribiquete emerald, an endemic hummingbird. The waterfall Caño Paujil originates from the Serranía de Chiribiquete.

The Cedar Breaks Archeological District, in Cimarron County, Oklahoma near Felt, is a 160-acre (65 ha) archeological site that was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It includes three contributing sites denoted Ci-193, Ci-194 and Ci-195; it includes rock art and at least one camp site area. It was listed on the National Register for its potential to yield information in the future.

Picture Rock Pass Petroglyphs Site place in Oregon listed on National Register of Historic Places

The Picture Rock Pass Petroglyphs Site is in northern Lake County, Oregon, United States. The site is located near the summit of Picture Rock Pass on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The designs were scraped into a basalt boulder by ancient Native Americans, probably between 7,500 and 12,000 years ago. No one knows the meaning of the petroglyph designs. Because of its unique archaeological and cultural significance, the Picture Rock Pass Petroglyph Site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Rock art in Iran

Rock art in Iran includes archaeological petroglyphs, or carving in rock; pictographs, or painting on rock; and rock reliefs. Large numbers of prehistoric rock art, more than 50,000, have been discovered in Iran.


Further reading

  1. Harmanşah (2014), 5–6.
  2. Harmanşah (2014), 5–6; Canepa, 53.
  3. See: Rawson and Sickman & Soper
  4. Ancient Indians made 'rock music'. BBC News (2004-03-19). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  5. J. Collingwood Bruce (1868; cited in Beckensall, S., Northumberland's Prehistoric Rock Carvings: A Mystery Explained. Pendulum Publications, Rothbury, Northumberland. 1983:19)
  6. Morris, Ronald (1979) The Prehistoric Rock Art of Galloway and The Isle of Man, Blandford Press, ISBN   978-0-7137-0974-2.
  7. [See: D. Lewis-Williams, A Cosmos in Stone: Interpreting Religion and Society through Rock Art (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2002).]
  8. Peratt, A.L. (2003). "Characteristics for the occurrence of a high-current, Z-pinch aurora as recorded in antiquity". IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 31 (6): 1192. doi:10.1109/TPS.2003.820956.
  9. Peratt, Anthony L.; McGovern, John; Qoyawayma, Alfred H.; Van Der Sluijs, Marinus Anthony; Peratt, Mathias G. (2007). "Characteristics for the Occurrence of a High-Current Z-Pinch Aurora as Recorded in Antiquity Part II: Directionality and Source". IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 35 (4): 778. doi:10.1109/TPS.2007.902630.
  10. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  11. "Rock Art Research Institute (RARI)". University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  12. Parkington, J. Morris, D. & Rusch, N. 2008. Karoo rock engravings. Clanwilliam: Krakadouw Trust; Morris, D. & Beaumont, P. 2004. Archaeology in the Northern Cape: some key sites. Kimberley: McGregor Museum.
  13. Khechoyan, Anna. "The Rock Art of the Mt. Aragats System | Anna Khechoyan". Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  14. Kamat, Nandkumar. "Petroglyphs on the banks of Kushvati". Prehistoric Goan Shamanism. the Navhind times. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  15. Petroglyphs of Ladakh: The Withering Monuments.
  16. Dolmen with petroglyphs found near Villupuram. (2009-09-19). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  17. "Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation". BBC. 1 October 2018.
  18. "Iran Petroglyphs – سنگ نگاره های ایران Iran Petroglyphs". Archived from the original on 2014-07-19.
  19. Foundation, Bradshaw. "Middle East Rock Art Archive – Iran Rock Art Gallery".
  20. "Archaeologist uncovers 'the world's oldest drawings'". 12 December 2016.
  21. Iran Petroglyphs, Universal Common language (book); Iran Petrogylphs, Ideogram Symbols (book); Rock Museums Rock Arts (Iran Petroglyphs) (book); For more information : ; ; ; ;
  22. 1 2 3 Nobuhiro, Yoshida (1994) The Handbook For Petrograph Fieldwork, Chou Art Publishing, ISBN   4-88639-699-2, p. 57
  23. Nobuhiro, Yoshida (1994) The Handbook For Petrograph Fieldwork, Chou Art Publishing, ISBN   4-88639-699-2, p. 54
  24. Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai – UNESCO World Heritage Centre. (2011-06-28). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  25. Fitzhugh, William W. and Kortum, Richard (2012) Rock Art and Archaeology: Investigating Ritual Landscape in the Mongolian Altai. Field Report 2011. The Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  26. "British Rock Art Blog | A Forum about Prehistoric Rock Art in the British Islands". Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  27. Photos. (2007-08-13). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  28. "Umeå, Norrfors". Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  29. Choi, Charles. "Call this ancient rock carving 'little horny man'." Science on MSNBC. 22 Feb 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  30. "Settlers at La Silla". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  31. "The Ascent of Man" . Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  32. "Llamas at La Silla". ESO Picture of the Week. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  33. 1 2 "Ometepe Island Info – El Ceibo". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  34. Petroglyph Provincial Park, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island BC. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  35. "Petroglyph Park - Gabriola Museum". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  36. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  37. Keyser, James D. (July 1992). Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau. University of Washington Press. ISBN   978-0-295-97160-5.
  38. Moore, Donald W. Petroglyph Canyon Tours. Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  39. Grimes Point National Recreation Trail, Nevada BLM Archaeological Site. (2012-01-13). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  40. Museums & Historic Sites Archived 2007-07-05 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 2013-02-12.
  41. "Paint Lick". Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  42. "Petroglyph National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)".
  43. Three Rivers Petroglyph Site Archived 2007-06-18 at the Wayback Machine . (2012-09-13). Retrieved on 2013-02-12.