||Examples of Unciform Signs:
Grotte Chauvet Drawing of unciform with one bisecting line
Unciform: This term comes from the Latin name for 'hook-shaped', and it is a new addition to my typology. The unciforms I have found so far seem to come in two varieties: those with a line (or lines) bisecting the middle of the sign, and those that are just a simple hook. Another name that I found for this sign type was "crochet", which means hook in French, and this was used by Lorblanchet in his inventories of sites in the Lot region of France (2010: 227, 315).
Since I have only recently added the unciform sign type to my typology, my search for examples of this abstract shape is ongoing. To date, I have identified unciforms at five different sites, though this number will probably continue to increase over time. It appears for the first time at the Aurignacian site of Grotte Chauvet (see drawing below), and is also present in the Gravettian (1 site), the Solutrean (1 site), and the Magdalenian (2 sites). Geographically, there are 2 sites each in the SW and SE of France, and 1 site in the Pyrenees near Spain. Because of the one site close to the many rock art sites of N Spain, it will be interesting to see if I find any examples of unciforms in this country as I continue to expand my database.
New - bibliographic information for this sign type:
Unciform drawing with bisecting line from
image distribution map of Grotte Bayol
Drawing of unciform with one
bisecting line in Grotte Chauvet
Lorblanchet, M. 2010. Art Pariétal: Grottes Ornées du Quercy. Arles: Le Roergue.
Drawing of unciform with one bisecting line in Grotte Chauvet: in Chauvet, J.-M., Brunel-Deschamps, E. and Hillaire, C. 1995: La Grotte Chauvet à Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, (Paris), page 76.
Drawing of unciform with bisecting line in Grotte Bayol: in Leroi-Gourhan, André, Brigitte Delluc, and Gilles Delluc (eds) 1995. Préhistoire de l'Art Occidental. Paris: Citadelles et Mazenod, page 566.
Genevieve von Petzinger
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Geometric Signs in France
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