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Reindeer on the rocks II

The reindeer rock art Bølareinen, mentioned in my last post, is probably the most known single rock carving in Norway. But the best known rock art site is definitely the rock art of Alta, in Finnmark, almost as far north as you can come. Alta has the largest concentration of rock art in Northern Europe. I was there two years ago, and it was really impressive. It is also a Unesco World Heritage Site.

According to the Unesco organization the rock drawings of Alta constitute the most important piece of evidence in favour of the existence of human activity in the confines of the Great North during the prehistoric period.

There are many reindeers in Alta, even herds of reindeers are engraved in stone. But there are also a lot of other animals, and even people. People who are shown hunting, dancing and living their life.

There are more pictures in my collection of photo galleries from Norwegian rock art sites.

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47 thoughts on “Reindeer on the rocks II

  1. Very very interesting.
    And I had a strange Dejavo like feeling. —– all those images on the rock were there
    past 3000, 5000 years, though for the bed-rock itself, it wouldn’t make any difference
    whether it was yesterday or 5000 years ago as the rock itself shows almost no sign of
    erosion = time seems to be stopped or 5000 years has no significance at all.
    The images to a man standing and watching the drawing makes no difference to
    the people who curved the rock. —– I wonder what we achieved after 5000 years :-D

    • More than 6000 years the oldest of these, Yoshizen, maybe 8000-9000 years. About 3000 carvings made in a time span of 4000 years in this place. It is kind of eternity.Thanks for a very interesting comment.

  2. I never knew about the prehistoric paintings in Norway before your posts. I have seen the cave paintings in Cougnac and Peche Merle in France and it is so evoking to feel the contact through time with these amazing artists who can still share their passions with us. Some of the ancient paintings seem to receive much more attention world wide than others, our knowledge can be so patchy.

    • It is hard to know it all, Frenchgarden, but nice to still discover new things to explore. Myself I would love to learn more about other rock art sites, in Norway and other countries.

  3. i always find rock art of this kind very moving – a link with prehistory that shows that our ancestors were not so very different really. I have seen Peche Merle in France and lots of hunting petroglyphs in Central Asia just like this. I just wonder – is it standard government policy to colour them in red for easier visiblity?

    • It was standard policy to use red colour for visibility, but no more. The government for cultural heritage in Norway have decided to stop painting rock art. Because it can damage the original carving, and because they want people to see them as they were made, different with differnt light.

  4. I did not know about rock carving in Norway. Thank you for these pictures. I like the idea of the humans represented as living around the animals along with the hunting. The herds must have been tremendous.

    • They have been painted red, for people to see them better. But they will stop doing that it seems, to keep them more like the origianal, and to prevent damage from the paint. Thanks, Lisaman.

  5. Thanks for an interesting post, I have an ongoing love affair with rock art, always the questions… why here? What do the images mean? We can ascribe meaning but I think the distance in time makes difficult if not impossible to actually know.

  6. Fascinating & interesting how there is a similarity in style and content with what I have found here in Oman,
    As for the ‘red’ they have been doing the same here with.chalk, but hopefully it can be stopped as well,
    The problem is that there are still very few who will dedicate the time and effort needed for the study of this art. One of the big problems it that it is difficult to date with any certainty, unlike cave paintings.
    Very interesting and pleased you posted these images.
    Just looking at them is a wonder when one thinks of the time scales involved; could they have imagined that here in 2012 we would still be able to see and appreciate their art……

    David.

  7. Thank you for finding my blog and leading me here! I am a serious fan of rock art….have spent many many days wandering in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado searching for pictographs and petroglyphs. Along the way I have made friends, true friends, in the Navajo Nation….and I consider this part of my life one of my greatest treasures. Now…I hear there are amazing cave paintings in Portugal (where I am spending a lot of time)…I’m off to find them soon! Thanks again for finding the blog and sharing your world with the rest of us! Keron

  8. Jag har varit och tittat på de vackra hällristningarna i Tennes, Balsfjord. Publicerade ett inlägg därifrån för ca ett år sedan. Dehär är fler, många fler, tätare ristade. Vackert och spännande när vi möter det förflutna.
    Allt gott till dej och en kram!

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