THE ISLAND OF SANTA CATARINA BRAZIL

ROCK ART ON THE ISLAND OF SANTA CATARINA BRAZIL

 
 
Santa Catarina Petroglyph Rock Art Brazil
Santa Catarina Island - Ilha de Santa Catarina - is an island 523 km2 in area, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil. It is very rich in prehistoric archaeological sites, the oldest of which is the Pântano do Sul, dated to 2500 BC, roughly contemporary to Stonehenge in England and the Egyptian Pyramids. The prehistory of the Santa Catarina Island was first studied by priest father Alfredo Rorh in 1977.
 
Santa Catarina Brazil
The petroglyph engravings of Santa Catarina Island show an almost exclusively abstract geometrical form [with the exception of the petroglyphs from the Galheta Beach site, which are composed of irregular lines of free form]. Whilst the style of the petroglyphs may not be unique on a global scale, their consistency and dense distribution certainly are. The petroglyphs are either pecked or ground to a smooth finish, ranging from a depth of 1 millimeter to 8 millimeters. The engraved area varies from 10 x 10 cms. to panels of more than 5 metres in length. The common symbols are groups of parallel straight lines, zig-zagged parallel lines, and waved parallel lines, as well as groups of triangles and irregular quadrilaterals.
 
Santa Catarina Petroglyph Rock Art Brazil
Surveys have catalogued 564 engravings in 32 main sites in 14 locations, all coastal and all relatively fierce and inaccessible [with one exception - the Caminho dos Reis site]. Because of this, they have been interpreted as symbols relating to fishing, either as inviting divine intervention for a favourable sea harvest and/or territorial delimitations of fishing areas. Moreover, the ‘net-like’ formations have been associated with nets used in fishing, and circles and dots appearing within the ‘net-like’ formations representing caught fishes. The dot series have been related to some form of counting, such as the phases of the moon, used for and during fishing periods. Unfortunately, in more recent years, their presence has indicated to some the location of hidden treasure, which led to the degradation of many of the sites.
 
Santa Catarina Petroglyph Rock Art Brazil
Mask Petroglyph
Santa Catarina Petroglyph Rock Art Brazil
Santa Catarina Petroglyph
 
Santa Catarina Petroglyph Rock Art Brazil
Boat Petroglyph
Santa Catarina Petroglyph Rock Art Brazil
Face Petroglyph
 
Of the 564 engravings, 522 were made by polishing (92.7%), 36 by pecking (6.2%) and 6 (1.1%) by both techniques. The petroglyphs have been carved in both horizontal blocks and in vertical blocks, sometimes on the stone floor of rock shelters, sometimes on cliff faces 8 metres in height. Several caves contain underground galleries of petroglyphs.
 

RECORDING THE ROCK ART OF SANTA CATARINA BRAZIL

 
In Florianopolis, the capital of Santa Catarina, the resident archaeologist Keler Lucas has catalogued more than 20 rock art sites. Archaeological evidence, gleaned from shellmounts, lithic stations, shelters under rocks, and rock monuments such as dolmens and astronomical observatories, indicates the presence of a culture similar to the European Neolithic period. The oldest date established, at Rio Vermelho, is 5,250 BP. Presently, the only rock art site on the island that has been officially recognised and therefore protected is at Costão Santinho.
 
The carvings are predominantly ‘geometric’, the most common of which is the ‘mask’ motif, named thus because of the depiction of the ‘third eye’ symbol. This motif also occurs in the neighbouring islands.
 
Another geometric motif is represented by a series of points and small symmetrical carved lines, thought to have been used for calendar counting, including astronomical [solstice and equinox] calculations, based on the alignment of surrounding rocks.
 
EXCEPTIONS TO THE 'GEOMETRIC' CARVINGS
Primitive Geometry Style - Sketchy straight lines that are occasionally parallel, of a length between 10 and 30cms. This style also features on the beaches of Ingleses and Galheta and is common in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Realist Style - A carving of an enormous fish fully engraved into the granite, and blackened-out to form a silhouette without a single straight line. This appears to be unique.
Cupulas - Carved in various shapes and sizes.
Solar Disk – Carved into the rock, apparently depicting solstice events. This is also present at the site in Laguna.
 
Santa Catarina Rock Art
South America Rock Art Archive
Bradshaw Foundation Homepage
 
bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates

Email

First Name

Last Name

Country

iShop
bradshaw foundation ishop tshirt
Podcast
bradshaw foundation podcast
DVD
bradshaw foundation ishop dvd
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation