High altitude archaeology: Prehistoric paintings revealed
Archaeologists at the University of York have undertaken pioneering scans of the highest prehistoric paintings of animals in Europe.
Producing virtual models of the archaeological landscape, researchers have now published the scans in Internet Archaeology -- an online, open-access journal.
of the paintings from the interior of the rock shelter with the rock
art colours enhanced |
with DStretch [Credit: Loïc Damelet, CNRS/Centre Camille Jullian;
enhancement: C. Defrasne]
The study of Abri Faravel and its paintings is part of a wider collaborative project between the University of York and the Centre Camille Jullian, Aix-en-Provence, France. Undertaking research in the Parc National des E?crins, the long-running study investigates the development of human activity over the last 8,000 years at high altitude in the Southern Alps.
|The execution of the white light scan of the paintings |
[Credit: K. Walsh]
However, the paintings are the most unique feature of the site, revealing a story of human occupation and activity in one of the world's most challenging environments from the Mesolithic to Post-Medieval period.
|The paintings at the Abri Faravel. Two groups of roughly parallel lines, and two animals facing|
one another. (a) Normal light image; (b) Zoom of paintings – colours enhanced with DStretch
with the YBR matrix [Credit: C. Defrasne]
"Whilst we thought that we might discover engravings, such as in the Vallée des Merveilles to the south-east, we never expected to find prehistoric paintings in this exposed area that affords so few natural shelters.
|Location map [Credit: Defrasne]|
"This is the only example of virtual models, including a scan of the art, done at high altitude in the Alps and probably the highest virtual model of an archaeological landscape in Europe."
Source: University of York [May 25, 2016]