The inventory discusses the geographical situation and characteristics of each site in Suriname and gives its location in degrees latitude and longitude as well as map coordinates. Detailed site maps clarify the local situation. Petroglyph sites are listed according to their geographical location in the country. Individual drawings are numbered in order to facilitate references. Dimensions, techniques of execution, compass bearings, rock type, visibility and literature references are mentioned for each rock drawing.
Furthermore , each petroglyph is illustrated by a 1 : 10 scale drawing and many also by photos. The inventory of the rock art sites in the rest of the area covered is based on a critical review of the existing literature and unpublished material obtained by various local investigators. The author had to sift through a great number of sometimes quite unreliable sources, written in various languages and often of difficult access, and to compare these frequently contradictory site reports with old and new maps, etc.
Rock art recording in southern Armenia
How difficult this task occasionally was is illustrated by the case of the Marlissa Fallas site Guyana for which four site reports are available, those of Brown , Winter , Goodland , and Williams Dubelaar's table of correspondences p. Sujo Volsky Jeannine, Elestudio delarte rupestre en Venezuela.
It is understandable that this part of the inventory contains less detailed descriptions of individual petroglyphs or rock paintings and is illustrated only by the drawings and photos the writer was able to obtain from the existing literature and from unpublished sources. Thirty-six sites from Guyana are described, seven from French Guiana, and 28 from the parts of Brazil and Venezuela adjacent to the Guianas 4.
Petroglyphs of the Old Zalavruga: new data – a new insight
By far most sites yielded only petroglyphs ; rock paintings appear to be rare in the Guianas: only ten sites are known. Reviews of the history of petroglyph investigations and separate bibliographies accompany the discussions of the rock art sites of all sub-areas. According to Dubelaar, the first recording of petroglyphs in the Guianas dates back to when the Dutchman Adriaan van Berkel mentions "marks" on rocks in the Berbice river Guyana which he ascribes to the Spaniards.
Most likely, however, van Berkel referred to the prehistoric petroglyph site of Marlissa Falls, mentioned above. In contrast, the since Humboldt widely accepted " first reference " site of Makarapan in the Rupununi savanna of Guyana, discovered by Nikolas Horstman in , is shown by Dubelaar to have yielded only Post-Columbian petroglyphs mainly initials of European origin. Serious attempts at recording petroglyphs in Guyana and Suriname were not made until the well-known expeditions of the Schomburgk brothers in the s and s. Dubelaar notes that incorrect illustrations of rock drawings are numerous in the literature.
For instance, the erroneous reproductions of the Avanavero Falls petroglyphs Kabalebo river, Suriname which Im Thurn published in emerge with dogged persistency even in such recent works as Sujo , though they were corrected more than eighty years ago by Stahel! The problem of recording petroglyphs is exemplified by the Bigi Timehri site Corentyne river, Suriname.
Nevertheless, not until was it discovered that the same boulder showed four instead of two petroglyphs as had always been assumed. These sites are illustrative also for the locations at which the majority of petroglyphs are found in the Guianas : on rocks standing in or close to running water, a minority in the vicinity of falls or rapids.
Petroglyph sites are absent from the geologically young coastal zone of the Guianas which is devoid of suitably exposed rock surfaces.
In some cases, for instance French Guiana, the lack of known petroglyph sites mays be due to unsufficient research. No attempt to classify and interpret the petroglyphs of the Guianas is made by the author in the work under review. The variety in design and execution of the 4. To this number should be added the 32 sites with in all glyphs which were disovered recently by Denis Williams in South Guyana.
One encounters representations of simple " faces ", human-like figures consisting of only a few lines and pits " matchstick-figures " , abstract geometric drawings spirals, circles, wavy lines, crosses, etc. As the most simple drawings are to be found all over the world any attempt to arrive at a meaningful classification should be restricted to those drawings which are sufficiently complex to ensure that relationships found are significant on sociocultural and historical levels.
A distributional approach is necessary to establish petroglyph "provinces" which can be compared with the culture areas in South America defined by anthropologists ans archaeologists. For such an approach to South American and Caribbean petroglyphs, see Dubelaar s. Ordering petroglyphs by principles of numerical taxonomy using computer techniques such as experimented by Sujo are useless without efforts to understand the sociocultural and historical meaning of the typology found6.
The validity of the distributional approach in classifying petroglyphs has recently been shown by Dubelaar in another volume 7. Especially his discussion of one particular type of rock drawings from the Guianas, the so-called " Elaborate Type " petroglyphs, is suggestive of the potentialities of this kind of research. This class of drawings encompasses petroglyphs representing human-like figures, consisting of semicircular heads indicated by one or two arcs and showing a number of radial lines possibly resembling feathercrowns , and often parallel bodies filled with crossing lines.
Heads showing arcs and rays without bodies also occur. Interpretation of this distribution should allow two possible lines of explanation : similarities in the shape of petroglyphs like these may have originated independently out of shared socioreligious concepts while a true genetic connection may be postulated for those petroglyphs which show a continguous geographical distribution.
The latter appears to be the case with the Elaborate Type drawings North of the Amazon, pointing to a likely culture-historical connection. Together they form what may be described as a family, if archaeologists were allowed to make wild and unwarranted judgments. Here's the finished photo.
In this case we were unable to block the background light completely, so there are some deep shadows on the face of the petroglyph. Still, the reflector brought out details that even the sketcher hadn't seen before. The first step taken in recording and petroglyph was to draw the entire panel and fill in a petroglyph form. On petroglyphs as faint as this one, the drawing was often done by a sort of Braille technique, with the recorder tracing nearly invisible grooves with the tip of her fingers.
Once this task was completed, the photographer, namely me, would saunter over and take a photo using the following technique.
detailed recording of petroglyphs Manual
First, the direction of the light is determined, then a small, portable reflector is set up to cast light at an oblique angle over the petroglyph surface. If warranted, the direct sunlight striking the petroglyph surface is blocked by tarp, so only the reflected light remains. This often brings out enough luminance variation over the rock surface that the sketcher will see even more detail that even a close examination by sight and touch had previously missed.
Changing the angle of the reflector only slightly often brings out additional detail. Several photographic exposures are made, often with slight variations of reflector angle. So here's the basic setup. A portable reflector is used to reflect available light so that the grooves in the petroglyph are in deep shadow. Rarely, however, does a petroglyph appear on the porch of a 19 th century hacienda. But that's the problem in Nicaragua and around the world these days, the smaller finds are quite often carted off for souvenirs.
Then the photographs are scanned into Photoshop. Here the contrast can be enhanced, the shadows cast in the grooves can be deepened and the parallax error that occurs when the camera lens cannot be brought completely parallel with the rock face can be corrected using data extracted from the drawing. If the rock face has a curvature that makes it difficult to light, separate exposures can be taken with the light corrected for different areas of the petroglyph face and the photographs layered in Photoshop.
Then each layer can be combined in a way that utilizes the best lit areas from each layer to produce a final file for printing. About That Reflector! The reflector shown in these pages is a Litedisc produced by Photoflex. It expands to 32" and folds for storage and transport to about 12" in diameter.
It's a bit tricky to fold up, but once you get the hang of it the whole process looks like magic.