Formal and iconographic analysis and interpretation of the most damaged petroglyphs

Jacek Kościuk, Mariusz Ziółkowski, Marta Pakowska



This paper presents a study of some of the most deteriorated petroglyphs from the Samaipata Rock, and is the part of the larger research project “Architectural examination and complex documentation of Samaipata (Fuerte de Samaipata/Bolivia)”. The study involved the following three steps: 1) Searching for visualisation methods that would allow the original form of today’s indecipherable petroglyphs to be identified; 2) Identifying the original iconographic program of individual engravings; 3) Searching for possible stylistic and formal analogies in order to fit the iconographic program into the broader context of rock art in this part of South America.     Due to the amount of material available and its multi-threaded nature, the study does not exhaust the topic, but only, based on some of the most characteristic examples, shows the methodological and methodical aspects of studying such petroglyphs.

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