Topic ID #41825 - posted 11/21/2019 4:17 AM

ITALY - Valcamonica Rock Art Field School & Fieldwork 2020

Angelo Fossati

Valcamonica Rock Art Field School – Italy -  2020 – July 16-August 6

Project Details:

The Footsteps of Man Archaeological Cooperative Society is based in Valcamonica, an Alpine valley in Northern Italy, where rock art constitutes an archaeological, artistic, ethnographic and historical patrimony of inestimable value (today incorporated onto the UNESCO World Heritage List).

In collaboration with the Catholic University of Brescia, the Footsteps of Man Archaeological Cooperative Society organizes its annual Valcamonica Rock Art & Archaeology Field School in Paspardo, one of the principal area where engravings are concentrated.  This area provides great opportunity to those interested (archaeologists and scholars, students and enthusiasts) in assisting in the research and  learning how to study and record rock art. The project participants will learn how to survey, clean, photograph, draw and catalogue the rock engravings at sites around Paspardo, including Vite-Deria, Le Scale, Castello, ‘al de Fuos, La ‘it.

During the field season, visits to the major rock art parks and museums in Valcamonica will be organized.

The project consists of different phases both at the sites and in the laboratory:

· Site research:  surveys for finding new engraved rocks; analysis of the rock art conservation; cleaning; contact tracing (drawing of the art with permanent pens on plastic sheets); 3D models; DStretch analysis; photographs and GPS use;

· Laboratory work: scale reductions of the drawings; cataloguing the engravings; lessons and conferences on Valcamonica and alpine rock art as well on other areas of the world; lessons on proto historic numismatic and the drawing of archaeological objects.

Participants will learn how to work with rock art: they will study how to address conservation challenges; they will  be able to record and draw rock engravings; they will  learn  how to highlight rock art to better record and photograph them; they will obtain a good general understanding of the rock art in Valcamonica and the Alpine area.

Participants usually come from different countries around the world, official languages are English and Italian. Portugues, Spanish and French are also sometimes used. In Paspardo accommodation is provided in house with common rooms, dormitories (from 8 to 4 beds in each room), shared  bathrooms and showers and a kitchen.

Things to bring: work clothes, work gloves, sneakers and trekking shoes, light sleeping bag, bath towel, sunscreen, insect repellent, sun hat and sun glasses. Paspardo is at 1000 m on the sea level so a jumper and a k-way can be sometimes useful.

Please make sure you have travel insurance against illness and injury and, if possible, please have an anti-tetanus vaccination.


Afternoon: arrivals, opening and welcome
Evening: meet and greet

Morning: presentation of current research and “Valcamonica rock art”, a short general presentation of Valcamonica rock art, by Angelo E. Fossati (lecture). Tracing trials using the rock art casts.
Afternoon: visit to the rock art sites of Paspardo
Evening: free

Morning: guided visit to the National Park of Rock Engravings of  Naquane, Capo di Ponte
Afternoon: research and documentation                
Evening:  “The rock art of the Mont Bego area, France” by Silvia Sandrone -- Departmental Museum of Tende (F) (lecture)

Morning: research and documentation
Afternoon and evening: free

Morning: guided visit to the National Archaeological Museum and the Theater of Cividate Camuno 
Evening: “Creating 3D images for rock art”  by Yang Cai - Carnagie Mellon University Pittsburgh (USA) (lecture)

Morning and afternoon: research and documentation
Evening: free

Morning: research and documentation
Afternoon: guided visit to the of Cemmo Boulders National Park, Capo di Ponte      
Evening: “The rock art of the Plains Indians, USA” by Jim Keyser  - Oregon archaeological Society (lecture)

Morning and afternoon: research and documentation (arrivals, opening and welcome)
Evening: meet and greet

The evening lectures (usually in English or with English translation) will be illustrated with the help of slides and the themes will vary over the three weeks. Both Local and International rock art experts and scholars deliver their presentations. Research and documentation mean that we are working in the field or in laboratory. Dinner is served at a local restaurant, lunch is at the site or at home and breakfast is at home. Breakfast lunch and dinner is included in the costs.

In general: Breakfast 7:30 a.m. Start work 8:30 a.m.  Lunch 12:30 p.m. 
Recommence work: 14:00 p.m. End work: 18:00 p.m. Free time and showers: 18:00-19:30 p.m. 
Dinner: 19:30 p.m.  Lectures/Free time: 21:00 p.m.

Work clothes, work gloves, sneakers and trekking shoes, sleeping bag, bath towel, sunscreen, insect repellent, sun hat and sun glasses.

Please make sure you have travel insurance against illness and injury, because we decline any responsibility.  If possible, please have an anti-tetanus vaccination.

Accommodation, food, publications and working material will be provided at a cost of 500,00 for one week per person (two weeks 1000,00; three weeks 1500,00; only Euros accepted).  A deposit is required. Ask for details at:  

If you are interested in coming you should stay for a minimum period of 7 days. No fares or wages are offered. In Valcamonica there are banks where you can change money and an ATM (automated teller machine).

At the end of the course, on request, it will be possible to obtain a certificate of attendance.



Fossati A.E.,  2007, “The rock art tradition of Valcamonica-Valtellina, Italy: A World Heritage View”, in Landscapes Enquiries, 8: 139-155, Bristol.
Arcà A., A. Fossati, 1995, Sui sentieri dell'arte rupestre.
Le rocce incise delle Alpi. Storia, ricerche, escursioni (On the paths of rock art. The carved rocks of the Alps. History, researches, excursions). Turin.
Simoes de Abreu M., A. Fossati, L. Jaffe, 1989, Etched in Time. The rock engravings of Val Camonica. Cerveno.

Information: please contact prof. Angelo E. Fossati |
Società Cooperativa Archeologica "LE ORME DELL'UOMO"
Address: Piazzale Donatori di Sangue, 1
| 25040 Cerveno (BS) | Italia









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