Petroglyph Meaning

What is Petroglyph:

Petroglyphs are records of human activity in the form of carved rock carvings. Most of the petroglyphs found date from the Neolithic period (10,000 - 3,000 BC) which is characterized, in contrast to the Paleolithic period (3,000,000 - 10,000 BC), by the social, economic and political advance of the groups and the introduction of the sedentary lifestyle.

Petroglyphs of Pusharo, Peru, 200 BC to 1532 AD

The word petroglyph derives from the Greek petra what does stone mean and glýphein which means to carve, engrave or chisel. The petroglyphs are also called rock carvings.

Petroglyphs are considered rock art that includes any engraved or painted image (cave painting) on ​​rocky surfaces that record traces of ancient human activity.

In 2015, the Pusharo petroglyphs 30 meters long by 4 to 8 meters high located in the biodiversity capital of Peru in Madre de Dios, were minted in the soles (Peruvian currency) as part of the series : "Wealth and pride of Peru."

Types of petroglyphs

According to anthropological studies, the types of petroglyphs are created through 3 types of techniques:

  • Percussion: it consists of hitting a stone against another stone to create grooves in the rocky surface. It resembles the current hammer and chisel technique.
  • Scratched: consists of using the edge of a stone to scratch the surface.
  • Abrasion: consists of smoothing the surface by rubbing a stone on it and then polishing it with sand and water.

The most common motifs for petroglyphs around the world are:

  • circular and square spirals,
  • concentric circles,
  • rows of dots,
  • triangular, square and circular faces,
  • anthropomorphic figures (resembles the human figure)
  • squares with divisions,
  • meanders or curved lines that simulate the sinuosities of a river.

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