Prix Europa Nostra Winner 2016 Jury Statement
Prehistoric Picture Project. Pitoti: Digital Rock-Art, Cambridge
This project is a truly European one with researchers from Cambridge University and contributors from the Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici, St Pölten University of Applied Sciences and the Bauhaus University Weimar setting to work on the Rock Engravings in Valcamonica, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. The research project was led by Cambridge University. In using film, photography, animation and state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology the team was able to render the rock engravings with literal depth. "While the technical aspect of this research was of immense worth and serves as an example of best practice for the recording of this priceless rock art internationally, the newly developed methods of presenting the rock art to an audience and of encouraging visitor interaction is commendable", the jury said.
Using the 3D images of the engravings, the team produced participatory exhibits and videos which aimed to make sense of the cinematic elements of this art, offering a new interpretation of the engravings which included movement, light and sound. The exhibition element was in itself part of the research, the objective being the discovery of how these engravings could be understood by a modern audience. "The quality of the research is highly original and we found the combination of the oldest and newest forms of human graphic art captivating. We appreciated the Prehistoric Picture Project's exploration of the boundaries between classic research and the performing arts", the jury stated.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained there in.
The PITOTI exhibition comes to Cambridge.
• P • I • T • O • T • I • DIGITAL ROCK-ART FROM ANCIENT EUROPE
will open from the 6th to the 23rd of March at the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
Downing Street, Cambridge. England.
Following the great success of the Pitoti exhibition at the Triennale in Milan, (over 20.000 visitors in a month), the PITOTI project continues to England as part of the "Cambridge Science Festival".
Pixel meets Pexel in a pioneering international collaboration, between film-makers, games designers and archaeologists.
Public opening from the 6th to the 24th of March 2013
Ancient European rock-art today: the need and an opportunity
Amongst the most famous of all images in European art are the bulls in the Ice Age cave of Lascaux and other masterpieces of prehistoric rock-art. They are ‘rock-art’ because they are artistic productions painted on to, or cut into the surfaces of natural rock formations. Rock-art is a part of the continent’s heritage. It is hugely popular, yet it is fragile and the presence of mass audiences damages the masterpieces that the crowds come to see. Lascaux and most of those caves are therefore now closed for the safety of the brittle images. The public interest in the roots of European art remains.
Rock-art has another problem. It is fixed in stone. This makes it impossible to take the original art works to the public in the way conventional paintings on canvas can be loaned to exhibitions and so travel around the continent. So how is rock-art to be made visible to the public, both today and in the future?
The "Pitoti" from Valcamonica, a rock-art Eldorado.
“Pitoti” are the figures which are cut into rock rather than painted onto rock. The major single concentration is in the high Alpine valley of Valcamonica, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Valcamonica was the first place in Italy to be inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list, in 1979 – before any of the nation’s more famous and Renaissance masterpieces.
This rock-art exists in abundance: at least 350,000 figures in Valcamonica alone. Above all – and this is why Valcamonica rock-art is genuinely unique – the figures present an autobiographical record.
The valley’s art preserves in a form that we can ourselves experience, in these figures made by the inhabitants of this small mountain community, made by themselves and made of themselves, pictures of the world they successively experienced as they experienced it. It is a community record spanning over 10.000 years – community art, landscape art, public art.
A travel throughout Prehistory led by Valcamonica rock art
(text and photos by A. Marretta) Researches carried up to nowadays in Valcamonica brought to light hundreds of thousands of images engraved on local smooth sandstones. Valcamonica is one of the greatest rock art concentrations in the world and one of the largest in Europe, where it is followed closely only by the very rich sites of Bohüslan (Sweden), Mount Bego (France) and Côa river valley (Portugal). In Valcamonica the habit of rock engraving began with the earliest rare expressions of the last Palaeolithic hunters (7th–5th Millennium BC) and went on without interruption passing through Prehistory and Proto–history, since Neolithic (5th–4th Millennium BC) up to reaching, with some gaps, even historical age (14th–16th centuries AD). The richest activity took place during the Iron Age and developed along with the best–known Italic cultures of 1st millennium BC, such as Etruscans, Celts, Veneti, and Raetians.