What is the meaning of Petroglyphs? Concept and Definition of Petroglyphs

Definition of petroglyphs


1. Concept of petroglyphs

The petroglyphs are symbolic designs engraved on rocks, made to rough the surface layer. Many were made by our prehistoric ancestors of the Neolithic period. They are the nearest antecedent of the previous writing symbols. Its use as a form of communication is dated to 10,000 b.c. and accessible to modern times in some cultures and places. The word comes from the Greek words petros (stone) and glyphein (carving). Originally, it was coined in French as pétroglyphe.
This term should not be confused with pictograph, a form of written communication through images dating back to the Neolithic, although both belong to the category of rock art and general.
The oldest petroglyphs date from the upper Palaeolithic or Neolithic. Later, he makes around 7000 or 9000 years began to appear writing systems such as the pictographs and ideograms. The petroglyphs continued to be very common and some less advanced societies continued to use them for millennia, even up to the time of contact with Western culture. Found on all continents except Antarctica, although concentrating especially in areas of South America, Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, Southwestern North America and Australia.

2. Meaning of petroglyphs

Petroglyph, a notion originating in the Greek language, is the print that, in prehistory, unfolded on the stones. The primitive humans, in this way, hit the rocks and peeled them up to leave certain marks.
To develop a petroglyph, the person was working on the surface of the rock, by lifting it up little by little according to the design in question. For this I could chop material, subjected to abrasion or scratch it.
Thanks to the petroglyphs, prehistoric men could communicate and leave records on the stones, which is considered to be technique is a far away from writing history.
The petroglyphs are part of what is known as rock art. These images do not constitute as a language or imply a written message, unlike the hieroglyphs, the pictographs and other methods. What do the petroglyphs is translate drawings that allow you display a scene or, somehow, to tell a story.
It is possible to find petroglyphs in various parts of the world. In Latin America, there are the Miculla petroglyphs, for example, found in Peruvian territory.
The Asian continent, on the other hand, is home to the petroglyphs of Wadi Rum (Jordan), which are among the most famous in the world. These engravings are situated in an area which has been declared world heritage by UNESCO.
Spain, Sweden, Norway and Italy, among others, are European countries with important historic petroglyphs, as well as Cameroon, Libya, Gabon and Egypt in Africa. As it can be seen, the technique came to expand around the world.

3. What is petroglyphs

"Art is a fundamental experience. It arises at the dawn of the need for expression of the man..." This statement of the Professor Golli illustrates the assertion about which man expresses his humanity through Visual Forms (profile and color). Hence the consideration, among the many theories that seek to a location of the origin of art, that this was a need of materializing a magical purpose or communication with supernatural forces. It is therefore common acceptance that man has felt the urgent need to build a means of expression of their inner life from the moment that the development of their intelligence allowed him to separate from his animal past.

The rock art is the oldest of this type of demonstration sample. Although it is one of the latest artistic expressions that has occupied the time of researchers, is also true that it implies attention from various disciplines: Archaeology, ethnography, sociology, ecology, history, Linguistics, as well as the artists and art theoreticians.

However, it can not refuse on those traces, the safe impact of the world on this interpreter and transmitter of realities. Never ceases to amaze us, also, its capacity of synthesis for the preparation of the necessary symbols to communication from thoughts.
So far most of the petroglyphs found in America refer to anthropomorphic figures, fauna, flora, tools or astronomical reasons. Few are those who evoke abstract motifs and even less a set of these expressing natural features in a systemic way.

The petroglyphs emerge as written testimony that transcends time and allows you to help understand the true intellectual stature and knowledge acquired by that culture. As exposed Fonseca (1996:166):.. .in this period, ancient societies interacted with other American companies... the result of uniting his own forces and capabilities... with other societies.. .What did part of a worldview... where is emphasized communication between man and the world, rather than between the man and the man had... is an analogical thinking rather than causative... in this sense is thought of representative art objects can have been assessed a way to hard to learn for us...
Although the entire Panamanian examples of art can be found in the rock, this exhibition puts the emphasis on the regions of Chiriqui, Cocle, among other areas where the mayor has made number of records and more thorough investigations. The rest of the country is yet to be discovered for this purpose despite isolated studies and individual efforts.

Definitions and techniques

In principle we can consider rock art to all those demonstrations graphic and sculptural human, on stone, their need for expression and internal communication product. For contemporary history they have acquired as a historical document, whenever they narrate everyday events of primitive societies, or according to the vast majority of researchers, the materialization of cosmological and magical concerns.

These graphic expressions can be found in different types of spaces: rock shelters or caves, at ground level or in rock formations in the open air. The materials used and the process of implementation (in the case of the paintings) vary, though not dramatically, according to the places of production. Depending on the technique employed to work in stone petroglyphs, the pictographs, the geoglyphs and Art mobilier are recognized.

Petroglyph: It is thus called to the drawings on the rocks by process of engraving or incision. The strokes are achieved by percussion or scraping using tools of greater hardness than the rock support, so allowing the rupture of the superficial patina of oxidation of the stone.

Pictograph: Is called in this way the drawings through the application of paints, usually with vegetable, oily or aqueous Binder colors pigments. The paint is applied with instruments such as swabs or brush while also used the I Blaster or stencil to get imprints (footprints) hands stamped in negative or, in some cases, direct printing of hands soaked in the dye. The pigments used vary from Red obtained from oxides of iron in different combinations and cinnabar in their natural state vegetable even dyes and mineral white, yellow and black.

Geoglyph: Is known with this name to the figures drawn on a large scale and wide spaces of the soil surface, on slopes of hills, ravines, or terraces formed by the channels of the rivers. Run through the removal of the surface in design lines that allow to differentiate its color from the color of the background of the soil or by accumulation of stones of contrasting color with the selected surface. In the Americas they can locate in Chile, Peru and Venezuela.

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