Rock Art

Chauvet Pont d'Arc Horses
Limited Edition Chauvet Portfolio to support the Ancient Art Archive
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I have selected 12 images from Chauvet Pont d'Arc Cave for a portfolio of prints to help support the Ancient Art Archive. Each image is limited to 12 prints each. Once they are sold there will be no more. The images are approximately 21" x 33" on 2 x 4-foot paper. Go here to see all the images and purchase. I'll be showing six of these prints in Oxford next month as part of a lecture at the Saïd Oxford Business School on September 13. The talk is free but registration is required. Go here for details. -Stephen Alvarez
Bears Ears Images
Bears Ears Images
Petroglyphs in Comb Wash Utah's Bears Ears National Monument is a national treasure. Besides the area's fantastic natural beauty the Monument contains over 100,000 archeological sites. Many of you generously supported a scouting trip to the Bears Ears this spring. The images are now online here. (more…)
Bear Ears
The Procession Panel, San Juan County Utah The Ancient Art Archive is in Utah all week scouting locations to record in the Bears Ears. For those that don't know, the Bears Ears is one of the United States newest National Monuments. Its 1.3 million acres represent some of the most inaccessible landscape in the lower 48 states. It is also a cultural treasure. There are over 100,000 archeological sites in the Monument and tens of thousands of pictographs and petroglyphs. It's a remarkable place. Thanks to everyone who has helped us get into the field this spring. Your support is vital.  
Dating the cave paintings of Spain
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Alistair Pike discusses the work he has done with Dirk Hoffmann in dating the cave paintings of Northern Spain in this short video that I shot for National Geographic. The open question that Pike is trying to answer in his research is are all the cave paintings of Europe Human or are some of them Neanderthal? Its an interesting question. Neanderthals certainly could have produced some art, but there is not overwhelming evidence that they did. Refined dating techniques have pushed the age of the first paintings in Europe back. The oldest paintings are now known to be older than 40,000 years. But by the same token refinements in tracing migration by looking at the human genome indicate that homo sapiens sapiens first entered Europe 55,000 years ago. So the current oldest painting in El Castillo in Spain is well within the date range that modern humans occupied Europe. Proving that...
Bulls painted in Altamira Cave
Pointillism is 38,000 years old. We have invented nothing
Pointillism is 38,000 years old. We have invented nothing.
Rainbow Man, Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs, Emery County Utah
A horned anthropomorphic petroglyph with rainbows enhanced with D-Stretch. Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs, Emery County Utah Within this faded group of Barrier Canyon Style pictograph is the Double Rainbow man. The figure is somewhat faded so I have run D-Stretch to bring it then recombined it with the original image to make the figure above. (more…)
High Gallery Barrier Canyon Style rock art panel, Wayne County Utah
A detailed view of the High Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon, Wayne County Utah. High Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon, Wayne County, Utah Recorded August 2016 This is the first gallery in The Horseshoe (Barrier) Canyon section of Canyonlands National Park. It is on the East wall of the canyon far above the canyon floor. It has well-preserved anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures in classic Barrier Canyon Style. Besides the pictographs there are also a number of petroglyphs faintly visible within the panel.  BCS style art is thought to be about 4,000 years BP. There is a longer discussion of the age of the art on the NPS Horseshoe canyon page (here). To see the panel in greater context of the canyon look at this image
Fremont Desert Bighorn Panel, Emery County, Utah
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A Desert Bighorn Sheep Petroglyph panel in Buckhorn Wash on the San Rafael Swell in Emery Country, Utah. This fine panel is up the wash from the much more famous Buckhorn Wash BCS style panel. Desert Bighorn are one of the most common animals depicted in South Western pictographs. There is also a boxed anthropomorphic figure on the right hand side of the panel as well as plant and abstract images. The panel itself is upstream of the BCS panel. The San Rafael Swell contains a wealth of pre columbian art. Most of the art is currently on Bureau of Land Management land. recorded August, 2016 Desert Bighorn Panel, Emery Co, Utah by Ancient Art Archive on Sketchfab
Nampaweap Petroglyphs
Nampaweap Petroglyph Site
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Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Mojave County Arizona Nampaweap is a very large petroglyph site in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Hundreds of individual petroglyphs cover the face of a lava flow at the head of Nampaweap canyon. The canyon is a natural corridor from the Colorado River to the Ponderosa pine forest on Mt Trumbull and the wetland around Nixon Spring. There are a large variety of symbols represented at this site including the nearly universal anthropomorphic figures. Additional information from the NPS is here. Nampaweap petroglyph site, Mojave County Arizona Nampaweap petroglyph site, Mojave County Arizona Bighorn sheep petroglyphs at Nampaweap petroglyph site, Mojave County Arizona A desert big horn sheep pictograph at the Nampaweap site, Mojave County Arizona Nampaweap petroglyph site, Mojave County Arizona We have more updated images in our archive here. For anyone who wants to find out more about this site and the rock art of...
Chauvet Cave Photographing the Lion Panel
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The Lion Panel of Chauvet, Franceby Ancient Art Archiveon Sketchfab The Ancient Art Archive all grows out of a National Geographic Magazine story about paleolithic art. I wrote about that experience for the NG Proof blog and I've reproduced that text below. What I couldn't envision at the time is how images can be repurposed. The model above is constructed entirely of images I shot for a panorama of the lion panel. At the time I had not even heard of photogrammetry or even dreamed of building 3 dimensional models. From the January 5, 2015 NG Proof Blog At our core, people are visual communicators. Nothing has ever confirmed my faith in that like seeing the ancient art in the cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in Ardèche, France. (more…)