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Rock Art and Archaeology

Science Fair Project


Big Horned Sheep Petroglyph at Arches National Park, Utah

Big Horned Sheep Petroglyph at Arches National Park, Utah

James Gordon

Rock art, or rather, art painted on cave walls or built out of the landscape, accounts for some of the oldest forms of art in the world. Some cave paintings are 30,000 years old and more. The most famous of these are in Europe, such as Lascaux and Chauvet Caves in France, but they are found world-wide, from the American continents to Australia.

Other types of ancient landscape art are called geoglyphs. Geoglyphs are the result of people deliberately modifying the landscape--like the Nazca Lines or the Uffington Horse.


  1. Make a model of a geoglyph or a known rock art panel or set of panels.
  2. What kinds of stories are told in rock art? Make a rock art mural, telling your own story.
  3. Compare what the artist Christo does with geoglyphs.
  4. How do scientists tell how old rock art is? Make a chart comparing the techniques.
  5. What's the difference between a petroglyph and a pictograph?
  6. What kinds of animals are shown on the walls of the Lascaux Cave? What methods were used to draw them? How were the images on the walls of Koonalda Cave drawn?

Rock Art Examples

See the Rock Art page for more suggestions.

Geoglyph Examples

See the Geoglyphs page for more suggestions

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