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THE ROCK PAINTINGS IN THE ABRI FARAVEL (AT 2,130 M IN THE SOUTHERN FRENCH ALPS): INTERPRETATIONS FACILITATED BY LASER AND WHITE-LIGHT SCANNING

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JournalInternet Archaeology
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2014
DatePublished (current) - 26 May 2016
Number of pages21
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Abri Faravel (2,133 m asl in the Parc National des Ecrins, Freissinières, Southern French Alps) is probably the most enigmatic high altitude site in the Alps. This rock shelter saw phases of human activity from the Mesolithic through to the medieval period; the artefactual assemblages comprise Mesolithic and Neolithic flint, plus prehistoric ceramics. However, the most interesting and unique feature on the site are the prehistoric rock paintings; the highest representations of animals in Europe. These paintings are presented in this article. The paintings themselves were the object of a white-light scan, whilst the rock-shelter and surrounding landscape was scanned using a Faro laser scanner. Both of these models are presented here, and their interpretation elucidated by an assessment of the different phases of activity at the shelter, combined with a synthesis of other evidence from the area and pertinent environmental evidence.

    Research areas

  • rock art, alps, france, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, landscape archaeology

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