Friday, 27 September 2013

Ancient Cave of Hands in Patagonia Argentina

Ancient handprints, rock paintings started appearing on rock walls around the world at least 30,000 years ago. Cave of the Hands is famous for the paintings of hands. Numerous waves of people occupied the cave, and early artwork has been carbon-dated to ca. 9300.
A Cueva de la Manos in Patagonia Argentina contains a brilliant assemblage of cave art. Cueva de las Manos”, exactly “the Cave of Hands”, is situated in Río Pinturas, in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, about 163 kilometer south of the town of Perito Moreno. The cave of hands gets its name from the cluster of stenciled outlines of human hands that appear on the cave walls. These beautiful rock paintings were made by hunter-gatherer communities estimated to have lived between 13,000  to 9,200 years ago, as determined from the leftovers of bone-made pipes used for spraying the paint on the wall of the cave to make silhouettes of hands. The cave entrance is screened by a rock wall, which is well covered by many hand stencils. Therefore; most of the hands are left hands that suggest painters detained the spraying pipe with their right hand.
Moreover hand prints; are also depictions of human beings, and animals such as guanacos, rheas, and felines, as well as geometric shapes, zigzag patterns, representations of the sun, and a number of hunting scenes, which portray a variety of hunting strategies with animals being surrounded, trapped in ambushes, or attacked by hunters using their throwing weapons, round stones known as bolas. Several views show individual hunters and others groups of more than 10 men. The paintings belong to three distinct cultures. The first human group was long-distance hunters whose focal prey was the guanaco. Approximately 7,000 BC a 2nd cultural level can be recognized, distinguished by hand stencils. Hunting scenes are no longer found during this age. There are also some examples of stencils of the feet of the American ostrich. This culture lasted until circa 3300 BC, when the art became more schematic and included highly stylized zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures. The last cultural started about 1,300 BC. Its art executed in bright red pigments, concentrated on abstract geometric figures and highly schematic representations of animals and humans. It is supposed to have been the work of the historic Tehuelche hunter-gatherers who inhabited the vast area of Patagonia when the first Spanish traders and settlers arrived.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Sri Lanka

Built over 1,500 years ago between AD 477 to 495, the rocking Sigiriya, also known as ‘Lion’s Rock’, is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin located on the island of beautiful Sri Lanka. Sigiriya is a popular tourist place, and this fantastic outcrop is surrounded by what is left of extensive & lovely gardens and reservoirs. Sigiriya is one of the 7 World Heritage Sites of the island, renowned for its ancient fresco, akin to those of the Ajanta Caves of India. Therefore; Sigiriya is believed one of the most foremost urban planning sites of the first millennium, and the site plan is considered very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined idea of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings. The Sirgiriya Gardens of the Sigiriya are one of the most important aspects of the site, as it is among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. These gorgeous  gardens are divided into 3 distinct but linked forms, Cave & boulder gardens, water gardens, and terraced gardens.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Waw-an-Namus Libya

The beautiful Waw an Namus is an extinct volcanic crater situated in one of the remotest destinations in Libya, deep in the Sahara desert almost at its geographic center. The stunning Waw n-Namus volcanic field is about 4 kilometer wide, surrounded by a 10 to 20 kilometer wide dark-black deposit of ash that stands out starkly against the yellowish desert. On the floor of the caldera there is a 120 meter high cinder cone, the apparent source of the ash, as well as three little salty, colored lakes. The so called name “Waw an-Namus” means the "Oasis of Mosquitoes", or "The Crater of the Mosquitoes", from the fact that the surrounding undersized lakes are infested with mosquitoes, and as a result camping nearby requires nets or repellents. In the last two decades. A general phenomenon in the Sahara is the occurrence of practically potable water close to, and at nearly the same elevation as, salt lakes. This scarce supply of water feeds the lakes and was also used by travellers in the older days. Due to the existence of fresh water at this remote volcano, the mindblowing Waw An-Namus was always a vital watering point for the caravans en route from Waw Al-Kabir to Rebiana and Al Kufrah oases further southeast in Libya.Waw An-Namus has became one of the foremost destinations for the majority of tourists who visit the Libyan desert in general and the Fezzan region in particular.
The picturesque volcano was first reported to the outside world by Karl Moritz von Beurmann in 1862 and then Gerard Rohlfs in 1881, however they never visited the site. most likely the first European to visit this volcano and report it was a Frenchman, Laurent Lapierre in 1920. Lapierre was a military officer who was captured in combat and taken in captivity to Kufra via Waw Al-Kabir and Waw An-Namus, and so had the chance to report his adventure after his release a few years later. About 11 years later an Italian geologist, Ardito Desio, reached beautiful Waw An-Namus during his famed long camel journey. On his geological expedition, Desio also visited Jalu, Maradah, Waw Al-Kabir, Tmassah and Kufra and published a geological description of the volcano for the first time in 1935. After the 2nd World War, numerous scientists visited the volcano, as well as the geographer Nikolaus Benjamin Richter who undertook a number of trips to the volcano and published a book on his journey to the area in 1960. Since that time, and as the Libyan government started awarding petroleum concessions in Libya, several geologists, geophysicists and tourists have visited this amazing Waw An-Namus, either to explore the nearby areas or because they were attracted by descriptions of the volcano. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Rapa River Delta Sweden

The Rapa River is also called Rapaätno, which flows through the Sarek National Park, winding through wonderful mountain ranges and narrow valleys, in north Norrland, in Norrbotten County, Sweden.  Rapa River stretches 75 kilometer from its source up in the glaciers of Sarektjåkkå to the mouth of Lake Laitaure, flowing through a 35 kilometer long Rapa Valley or Rapadalen. The beautiful Rapa valley is the artery of Sarek, which is normally knowned by it’s splendid piece of unspoiled wilderness with dense thickets of mountain birch, osier and herbaceous plants. The flora is poor in most of the park, but the valley is rich of animal life. If you’re lucky you can see bears, wolverine, lynx or one of the unusually large elks. The river delta best view is from air, but if a helicopter ride is not possible, the second best views are obtained from the Skierfe (1179 m) at the right. Skierfe has a vertical wall at the side of the valley, but the top can be hiked from the back side on an easy path. The lesser mountain in the valley at the right side is called Nammatj. Coming from Sitojaure, it is likely to go up to Skierfe and continue to Aktse on one day.

The Rapaätno river has a massive flow and carries green glacial water from about thirty glaciers. It runs down the Rapa Valley as far as Lake Laitaure, and then rejoins the Lesser Lule River river which ultimately forms the Lule River river at the confluence with the Lule älv. At the mouth of Lake Laitaure, the Rapa River forms the Laitaure Delta. The Rapa delta is regarded as the most stunning river delta in Scandinavia. The Rapaätno transports major quantities of sediment. It can carry between 5,000 and 10,000 tons of sediment in one summers day, but a few tons in winter, giving a total of 180,000 tons of sediment moved over the whole year. The sediment explains the grey-green color of the river and the formation of huge deltas.