Rock 5 of Castello (Paspardo, Valcamonica), an extraordinary topographic composition from the 4th Millennium BC

Angelo Eugenio Fossati, GIORGI Marisa, BOSSONI Linda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regional and international research on representations of maps in rock art demonstrate their widespread importance within several societies in the past. From larger area, cartographic representations to more specific localised topographic maps they form a physical representation of what is known, perceived or imagined within the landscape. The recent discovery of an ancient topographic map composition on rock five in Castello (a residential area of Paspardo), has been uncovered and recorded. The region has several examples of topographic maps including similar engraved geometric images within their compositions. Comparing Rock 5 to the known examples in the literature, such as the Bedolina rock, and drawing on the particular elements of Rock 5 in Castello, it is possible to build on the current knowledge of petroglyphs in the valley. The possible interpretations for these compositions have been explored in the past (e.g., Anati, 2009, Arcà, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2007; Delano Smith, 1982; Fossati, 1994, 2003). This composition not only contributes to the data of the existing known topographic map images of the area but extends the research within the interpretative sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Pétroglyphes, carte topographique, Valcamonica, agriculture
  • Petroglyphs, topographic map, Valcamonica, agriculture


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