Rock art depicts people and animals engaged in diverse activities, including hunting, trapping, fishing, ceremonies, and dialogue. Alta has the highest concentration of hunter-gatherer rock art in Northern Europe. Between 7000 and 2000 years ago, rock sculptures and rock paintings were produced. On December 3, 1985, the rock art at Alta was listed as the sole prehistoric site in Norway on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Visitors can go around this open-air facility and observe the sculptures during the summers. It's as if visitors are browsing through a prehistoric tale about the life of the locals. It really brings history alive; it's a little creepy, but in a fantastic way.

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The History And Significance Of The Alta Rock Art Museum

A local farmer found the first rock art in Alta 6 decades ago. It was a little rock known as Pippisteinen that led to the registration of almost 6000 engravings in the Alta area, Europe's biggest site.

According to the carvings, Alta was a key meeting spot for humans in the Arctic for millennia. Experts feel that the location of the pictures can reveal practically as much about the evolution of the civilization as the drawings can reveal about their natural setting. Reindeer, elk, bears, foxes, and whales, as well as humans and voyages, are shown in the sculptures.

The majority of the figures are thought to have been part of people's superstitions and beliefs at the time. Alta's rock art is a valuable archaeological resource that provides visitors with a deep insight into people's opinions and customs, social systems, technology, and resource utilization.

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Major Rock Sites In The Museum

The rock art in Hjemmeluft, Kfjord, Transfarelv, Storsteinen, and Amtmannsnes has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

All of Alta's rock paintings are a part of the open-air facility.

Hjemmeluft

Hjemmeluft is the biggest of Alta's World Heritage sites. Visitors can walk through a landscape with beautiful views and a fascinating history dating back over 5000 years along the paths. On both flanks of the harbor, there are more than 3000 engravings on the granite surfaces and remnants of old dwellings.

The many rock carving locations are connected by a 3-kilometer route system that allows visitors to journey through ages from the earliest to the latest rock sculptures.

There is a great variety of motifs and settings in Hjemmeluft. Hunting, trapping, and fishing were all prominent motifs because they were necessary for the survival of individuals who created the rock art.

Kfjord

 

Kfjord is among the five-rock art locations on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The rock engravings in Kfjord were found in 1978, and there are currently about 1500 figures here.

A relatively soft clay tablet with red and green vertical lines was carved into which the engravings were carved. The Kfjord site is extensive and diverse, with many distinct scenes and individuals that paint a useful perspective of a deep and rich universe of opinions and ideas.

The numerous paths are a distinguishing aspect of the rock carvings in Kfjord. Visitors can follow the footsteps of reindeer herds herded into the corral or bears moving among the other images on the site.

Storsteinen

Storsteinen is not open to the general public. Hundreds of engravings had been carved on atop one another for a long period. The figurines are from the three earliest phases, c.7000-4000 years ago, and mostly feature reindeer, elk, and humans, but there are other motifs as well.

Storsteinen is unique in that people have returned to carve fresh figures on the same granite surface for thousands of years, which explains why there are so many sculptures stacked on top of one another.

Amtmannsnes

The sculptures are distinct from all other rock art, which it is natural to equate them. Local villagers spotted the first figurines on Amtmannsnes in 1977. Today, five sites with a total of 5-600 figures have been listed. Any recording is difficult and questionable because the rock surfaces are heavily eroded. Amtmannsnes' carvings generally feature human-like characters, reindeer, various patterns with zig-zag lines, and also include other wildlife and humans.

Other indications of human activity, such as primitive tools and the residues of tool manufacturing, have been discovered near the rock art locations.

Transfarelv

The only world heritage site with painted figurines is Transfarelv. Human figures, reindeer, lines, and color patterns can all be seen here. Iron oxide was utilized as a coloring ingredient blended with blood, fats, or other binders. In total, there are around 60 figures. The red color ranges from mellow to blueish undertones. They were painted with a combination of fingertips and animal hair or natural fiber paintbrush.

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Guided Tours Of The Museum

Having a private guide is the best method to learn about rock art. The guide will address all inquiries, show and tell, and provide a one-of-a-kind rock art encounter.

During peak season, guided excursions are available in Norwegian, English, German, French, and Russian. Guided tours are available indoors throughout the winter.

Guided Tour Charges

Summers

  • Adults- $15
  • Students- $13
  • Children ( 7- 16 years)- $5
  • Children (under 6)- Free

Winters

  • Adults- $10Students- $8
  • Children ( 7- 16 years)- $4
  • Children (under 6)- Free

The Rock Art Museum in Alta is an interesting place to visit not only for rock art enthusiasts but also for people who want to learn more about the hunter-gatherer past. Visitors will be captivated by the arts and paintings depicting episodes from the prehistoric era. It is a must-see for everyone interested in rock art and history.

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