1. Department of Archaeology, King's Manor, University of York, YO1 7EP, UK.
2. Centre Camille Jullian, UMR 7299 AMU_CNRS_MCC, MMSH, F-13094 Aix-en-Provence France
3. Fyssen post-doctoral researcher, Departament de Prehistória, História Antiga i Arqueologia – SERP, Universitat de Barcelona. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Cite this as: Walsh, K. et al. (2016) Interpreting the Rock Paintings of Abri Faravel: laser and white-light scanning at 2,133m in the southern French Alps, Internet Archaeology 42. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.42.1
The Abri Faravel, discovered in 2010 at 2,133m 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 tools, Iron Age hand-thrown pottery, a Roman fibula and some medieval metalwork. However, the most interesting and unique feature on the site are the prehistoric rock paintings; the highest representations of animals (quadrupeds) 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.
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