Ciappo del Sale

Prehistoric men represented in the stone

The complex of rock carvings of Ciappo del Sale is of notable interest, in particular for the subjects represented. After Ciappu de Conche, already known by scholars since the late 19th century, that represents the main complex of prehistoric “art” in Finale. The carvings were done on Finale Stone scientifically called Finale Ligure Limestone, datable to the oligo-miocene age (28-11 million years ago circa).

Ciappo del Sale is formed on a limestone slab and located a few hundred meters from Rocca degli Uccelli, between the Pia torrent and Ponci valleys. A path delimits on the southern side the main area on which there are around 110 cross signs, around 800 cupels and a dozen of anthropomorphic figures. These numerous carvings, similar to the ones on Ciappo de Conche and (even if less) on Ciappo dei Ceci, testify the intense frequentation of the area starting from the prehistoric period.

MORE INFORMATION – Ciappo del Sale

The complex of Ciappo del Sale can be divided, by following the classification that Milly Leale Anfossi made and who was also the person that reported the presence of the site and that studied it, into four distinct groups:

  1. Human figures, houses, crosses, square cupels and various carved signs, of modern or ancient age but gone over again in modern times;
  2. Hemispheric or oval cupels with channels;
  3. Anthropomorphic stylized figures, certainly from the protohistoric era;
  4. Huts and various figures probably from the protohistoric era.

The C and D figures, for the patina they present and the stylistic characteristics, that find comparisons with rock carvings in Val Camonica are to be considered from the protohistoric era, dating back to the bronze and Iron ages.

Particularly notable are the anthropomorphic figures called “prayers”: the first, extremely stylized, in the attitude of prayer (50 x 29 cm circa) presents a head made with a deep cupel, its arms are raised over its head and seems to be holding two circles (the interpretation is difficult due to the corrosion of the rock). While the inferior extremities form an elongated ring.

The second anthropomorphic figure, is to the right of the first one and less than a meter distant, is almost identical to the first and holds a bow over its head (semicircle). Both carvings present a thick patina and evidently recall the theory of “prayers” that can be found in the prehistoric art complexes of Monte Bego and of Val Camonica

HOW TO REACH

CIAPPO DEI CECI

How to reach the site

The site can be reached by bike or on foot from Orco or from the San Bernardino plateau. It is forbidden to walk or cycle over the carvings.

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