Monday, June 9, 2014

Ancient rock carving in Alta, Norwegian Prehistoric Site

The Rock art of Alta (Helleristningene i Alta) are located in and around the municipality of Alta in the county of Finnmark in northern Norway.
The first carvings were discovered in 1972. Until now more than 6000 carving have been revealed on different sites around Alta.  The largest locality, at Jiepmaluokta about 4 kilometres outside of Alta, contains many thousand individual carvings and has been turned into an open-air museum. The site, along with the sites Storsteinen, Kåfjord, Amtmannsnes and Transfarelv, was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites on 3 December 1985. It is Norway's only prehistoric World Heritage Site (

I had a geophysical trip to northern Norway in 2013 together with my colleagues. The main purpose for us was investigating the greenstone belt of Kautokeino south of Alta region. The open-air museum is one of the tourist attracting place in Alta so we decided to have a visit. I would say it is very very interesting area to see especially the carvings on the rock. When I was watching these carvings I had a question in my mind: why these people tried to make such an amazing job with probably very preliminary instruments. Did they think about us? did they know one day Aziz will come and look at their art. whatever they thought in those moments, their job is really fascinating. I should mention that the the earliest carvings were dated to around 4200 BC.  Hmm it seems our ancestors were artist and liked to print their work in a persistent way ;)
BTW: In the picture you can see one of my colleagues Marie-Andrée, thanks to her for being a nice scale there :)