The Rock Art of Alta is a UNESCO Listed property located in the northernmost part of Norway. Imagine a destination that will get you to the far north of the Arctic Circle just outside the Alta Fjord? Yeah, that’s Norway for you. It is only in this country that you find tourist attractions in icy landscape, and somehow the tourist doesn’t seem to mind it…actually they welcome the challenges of visiting the destinations.
The rock art is located at 45 sites in 5 different areas of the Alta Fjord. There are thousands of rock carvings and paintings in the area. The 5 areas include;
There is more rock art made by the hunter-gatherer communities of Alta than in any other place in northern Europe. This point to a fact that Alta was an important Arctic Circle meeting place for 5000 years (5,000BC to year 0). The art development over thousands of years in Alta points is closely associated to the post-glacial land upheaval.
The oldest carvings are found at the highest points of the landscape. The evolution of the art is evident through the position of the carvings. Alta’s rock art also provides important lessons in the chronology of rock art in the circumpolar region.
The rock art shows the ancient Nordic culture that believed in the communication between the world of the dead and the world of the living. The art gives insight into the Cosmology as seen in the eyes of the prehistoric hunter and gatherer communities. There is an exceptionally high number of compelling depictions of prehistoric rituals, dancing and processions.
Other images depict the circumpolar animals such as elks, fish, whales, seabirds, reindeer and bears. The good preservation conditions of the circumpolar have ensured that the art has remained intact over the years.
Research of the large settlement that lies adjacent to the carvings gives a better understanding of the Rock art context. The settlement and the rock art shows communication between Alta and areas that were located thousands of kilometers away. If you love the outdoors, especially the cold ones, this is the best place to spend your holiday.