Appreciation of Art has long since been at the core of humankind’s communication. A way of expression that through the ages has manifested itself in all forms. But the earliest forms of art were imprinted on rocks, cave walls and cliffs. The mystery of rock art had endured the test of time. Man now travels to the corners of the earth to uncover the meaning of the art that is now lost in time. Some of the most mysterious rock art lie in what is now considered cultural or religious sites. Some of the locations are so remote that they tempt the art lover with adventures beyond their imagination. There are many famous rock-art sites in the world; here included are six of ten most sought after sites one might want to consider visiting, all are highly recommended though.
1.The Sierra de San Francisco in Mexico: this location hides more than two hundred rock-art sites in the deserted valley. The brightly colored paintings of animal life are believed to have been painted by giants of the passed that are long extinct. The location of these sites are in the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Baja California Peninsula. Tours there are strictly guided and have to be pre-arranged since access is limited to mules or on foot.
2.The Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh in India: This site is located 28 miles from Bhopal and can be reached by car or taxi. The located is a forested ridge and reveals Mesolithic hunters and gatherers. The multi colored paintings of wildlife are believed to have been ceremonial, some were attributed to childbirth while others are believed to be sacrifices in the years before the birth of Christ.
3. The Valley of the Chiefs in Montana, United States: the Indian Nations have long been spiritual. Until a few year ago, the valley of the chiefs were not known to the general public. The rocky bluffs known as the weatherman draw have rocks that are over a thousand years old. The multi colored rock paintings of wildlife like bisons bears and warriors bearing shields are believed to be ceremonial and sacred. A five mile hike round trip will give you access to all the paintings. It is a rather strenuous hike that requires one to be in good physical shape. Highly recommended.
In Europe there are 3 sites that can be visited in one trip. A two weeks vacation will take you to Italy, France and then Sweden.
4.The Valcamonia in Italy: located in the Italian alps, access to this site is from Nadro and only by foot. So a slightly strenuous hike to the site of a concentration of more than one hundred, forty thousand petrographs, the largest in the world. The petrographic art are an eight thousand years chronicles chipped into ice smoothed rock surfaces. They depict wildlife, war and religious symbols through the reign of the roman empire.
5.The Niaux Cave in France: believed to have been painted fourteen thousand years ago, the wildlife prints across the limestone walls belong to horses, bisons, ibex and deer. The path to the site is slippery and uneven making it a challenge and an adventure. It is an underground site that can only be accessed after a mile long hike to the vast chamber in the center of the mountain. This tour is for the brave and adventure seekers, not for claustrophobics or the weak at heart.
6.The Tanum in Sweden: perhaps the most fascinating of the Scandanavian Viking cultures and traditions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. The location is a weather beaten one; with glaciers wearing it smooth, it provides ideal surfaces for artists to create large collections of petrographics. The images here are of axe welding warriors and warships.
Contact point for the above sites:
There are many mysteries associated with rock art, you can seek to uncover some of them by traveling to the above locations. It is advisable to book your tours early; do some research before you travel.
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