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New Perspectives on the Chronology and Meaning of Mont Bégo Rock Art (Alpes-Maritimes, France)

  • Thomas Huet (a1)

In 1994, H. de Lumley's teams of researchers finished the colossal task—initiated more than 20 years earlier—of recording every pecked rock engraving of Mont Bégo's rock art. The following year, in the book Le grandiose et le sacré, Lumley defined the site as a sacred mountain and attributed rock engravings, considered as ex-votos, to the Early Bronze Age and the Bell Beaker period. However, it is hard to recognize what interpretations can be directly drawn from the data: some exceptional rock engravings are considered as representative of the whole corpus of rock engravings and the most numerous ones are considered as a ‘bruit de fond’ [background noise]. Furthermore, recognition of associations—where rock engravings are contemporaneous and significantly grouped—had been criticised, and the hypothesis that all the rock engravings can be considered as a single archaeological event seems also to be contradicted by studies of superimpositions. We developed a GIS and a comprehensive database, with statistics, to identify specific spatial configurations, seriation effects and, finally, the evolution of the rock art. By going further in the periodization, our aim is to propose some provisional hypotheses about the meaning of Mont Bégo's rock engravings.

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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