The Rock Art of Inner Mongolia & Ningxia (China) by Paola Demattè


Page 12/13

I wish to thank the UCLA Institute of Archaeology for supporting with an Ahmanson Field Research Grant the trip which made this research possible, and the Rhode Island School of Design for a faculty development grant which allowed further research on this topic. This research would not have been possible without the help of many Chinese colleagues: Prof. Gai Shanlin of the Inner Mongolian Institute of Archaeology, Mr Wang Derong of the Ningxia Cultural Relics Bureau. The petroglyph drawings are by Gisel Floretz.


1. The cart (pulled by cattle and with solid wheels) appeared around 3000-3500 bc throughout the Near East, while the horse-drawn chariot appeareds in the eastern steppes by 2000-1500 bc (by 1300 bc the chariot was in Shang China); Di Cosmo (1999, 903); Torday (1997, 10-11). The camel is taken to be evidence of a drying trend in the climate which started probably around 1000 bc.

2. Mounted archery is said to have appeared before 700 BC, even though the stirrups were not used in Mongolia until the fourth century AD; cf. Torday (1997, 11).

3. Such small ceramic pagodas (3-5 cm) have been excavated at the sites of 108 Ta, Baisikou Shuangta, Baisikou Fangta (Li Xiangshi & Zhu Cunshi 1993, 13).

4. The Great Wall is not a single and continuos structure, but a time-layered conglomeration of walls not necessarily linked together. According to historical lore, the Great Walls was first conceived as a continuos defensive line by the First Emperor of Qin in the third century bc by linking the pre-existing state walls of the Late Zhou powers. Later Great Walls, however, did not follow the same line and extended or retreated according to the control on the territory each dynasty was able to afford. Waldron (1990, 1-51).

5. While generally pastoralists, the nomads did engage in limited agriculture, Di Cosmo (1994).

6. In current rock art terminology, engraved signs are called petroglyphs while painted ones are inappropriately termed pictographs. The term pictograph indicates a type of writing and it is used in this article with that meaning.

7. A few signs could be later doodles. Mr Wei Zhong asked some shepherds who sometimes carve images on rocks about the meaning of these signs. The shepherds said there was no meaning, they drew because they were sitting there looking at the pre-existing images and were bored (Wei Zhong pers. comm. 2000).

8. A piece of writing, no matter how primitive, arranges its signs following a sequential logic which may or may not be linguistic; differently, pictorial representation places its signs in accordance to a spatial logic, and hierarchies between signs are established by both their size and position.
Like us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter to receive news & updates:

The China Rock Art Archive
Bradshaw Foundation
bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates


First Name

Last Name


bradshaw foundation ishop dvd
bradshaw foundation podcast
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Bibliographic Database 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 Privacy Policy 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 Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury 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 Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art 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 Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art 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 Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Sri Lanka Archive Index Rock Paintings & Engravings Sri Lanka 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 Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden 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 A Cultural Memory Izzy Wisher Biography Deer-tooth necklace Cave Art 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 Banksy 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