Rock dating techniques

Posted by / 28-Oct-2017 09:57

Rock dating techniques

Megalithic rock art is best exemplified by the complex spiral engravings at the entrance of the Newgrange Neolithic Passage Tomb, in Ireland.However, although Newgrange is the most famous site within the Bru na Boinne complex in County Meath, the mound at the Knowth megalithic tomb (Newgrange's sister site) has a huge number of rock engravings around its circumference.Indeed, they are still used in tribal art and in some non-literate cultures in Africa, South and Central America, and Oceania.Arguably, the most important pictographs are the Magdalenian-period Lascaux Cave Paintings (c.17,000 BCE) in the Dordogne region of France, and the Altamira Cave Paintings (c.15,000 BCE) in Spain - the "Sistine Chapel" of Stone Age painting.Rock art is a rather vague term which denotes prehistoric man-made markings on natural stone.Similar terms include: "rock carvings", "rock engravings", "rock inscriptions", "rock drawings" and "rock paintings".Some of these images have a special cultural and/or religious significance for the societies that created them.

Dating this ancient art can be a very difficult process, often involving radiometric and thermoluminescence methods.They include: the Horse Panel and the Panel of Lions and Rhinoceroses at Chauvet Cave; the hand stencils and polychrome paintings in the underwater Cosquer Cave; the charcoal and ochre pictures of Dappled Horses at Pech-Merle Cave; the incredible Hall of the Bulls at Lascaux Cave; the animal paintings at Font de Gaume Cave and Cueva de La Pasiega; the extraordinary large scale wall paintings in the polychrome chamber at Altamira.Franco-Cantabrian cave art can be divided into three phases.As well as this, cave paintings throughout the world include numerous symbols, ideograms, anthropomorphs and zoomorphs.Regarding these pictographical symbols, it is worth remembering that pictographs were the basis of cuneiform and hieroglyphic writing, as well as the writing systems used in Ancient China, Sumeria, and Egypt.

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The markings can be dyed or painted, or enhanced through polishing.