Rock art paintings

Marche – Cingoli (Macerata)

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Rudielle rock art site

Paintings 3 in black colour
Engravings none
Site dimensions not provided
Site orientation South-West
Site altitude a.s.l. 575m

This limestone rock shelter is located on the southern slope of Monte Sant’Angelo (771 metres a.s.l.), in the narrow valley of the homonymous river. This area is increasingly known and appreciated by climbers and it poses several protection and conservation problems for rock figures. Furthermore, the left terrace of river has been subject to past extraction activities that impacted Paleolithic anthropic levels in the Madonna dell’Ospedale area (about 1 km northeast from the decorated site), exposing lithic artifacts attributed to the Early Epigravettian. In the surroundings the painted shelter the Hermitage of Sant’Angelo probably dating back to 1251 (as attested by an inscription once mounted on the façade). The summit of Monte Sant’Angelo shows the remains of an early Middle Ages watchtower to defend the Apennine pass. The name of the mountain refers to Saint Michael, the warrior Archangel who pierces the infernal dragon and weighs the souls of the deceased, adopted as a protective deity by the Lombards, invoked to defend impassable passages and safeguard the purity of healing waters.

The prehistoric figures of this rock shelter were discovered in the 1980s by Paolo Appignanesi, honorary inspector of the National Board of Antiquities.

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The rock shelter of Rudielle (photo by Gaia Pignocchi)
Historical photo of the Rudielle area before the intervention of stone quarries (courtesy of Paolo Appignanesi)
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Rudielle rock art figures

There are 3 figures in black colour. These figures are arranged on the eastern portion of the shelter: on the top there is an anthropomorphic figure, below there is a curvilinear linear motif of difficult interpretation and finally on the bottom left side of the rock shelter there is a geometric motif partly covered by a layer of opaque concretion.

The anthropomorphic and schematic figure on the top was depicted in frontal view, standing. The head is continuous with the trunk and oval, the arms and legs are bent downwards. The body has a slight thickening in the lower half. It does not appear to have a phallus, but the calcitic concretions have covered some features of the figure, making the interpretation partial. 

The black paintings of the rock shelter (photo by G. Pignocchi)



Pignocchi, Gaia

Alcuni casi di siti d’ambiente montano nelle Marche Book Chapter

In: Borel, Francesco Rubat (Ed.): Preistoria e protostoria in ambiente montano: scoperte e ricerca territoriale, tutela e valorizzazione, pp. 82-83, Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze, 2019, ISBN: ISBN 978 88 6045 0760.

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Pignocchi, Gaia

Riparo delle Rudielle (Cingoli, MC) Journal Article

In: Notiziario di Preistoria e Protostoria, vol. 5, no. I, pp. 12-13, 2018.

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Silvestrini, Mara; Cancellieri, Emanuele; Peresani, Marco

Madonna dell’Ospedale, un sito epigravettiano antico al margine dell’appennino marchigiano : osservazioni sullaproduzione litica Journal Article

In: Il Tardiglaciale in Italia – Lavori in corso (BAR International Series 1859), pp. 81-102, 2008.

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