Valley of Marvels

At 80 km from North Nice (south of Frrench Alpes),
over an area of 30 km² around The Bego Mount,
in the Parc national du Mercantour,
is a splendid open-air set of 30 000 rock engravings
that still contains many mysteries.

lac sight


The engravings made by pecking on schist and granite faces polished by glaciers would date from the bronze age (end of the neolithic, between -1800 and -1500-). 
For the most part they depict profiles of horns and also knives, teams, haleberds, circular concentric symbols and sometimes anthropomorphic figures ("the head of the tribe", "the christ").

Traditionally seen as a sanctuary, a shrine to the taurus and the earth, the large amount of the inscriptions in such a place raise many questions. They are studied from the end of the last century and the systematic inventory has been started since 1967 by Henri de Lumley.

A recent interpretation is suggested by Chantal Jégues Wolkiewiez and presented by Pedro Lima in the french magazine" La Recherche" of June 1997. She attempted to compare the position of some engravings to the constellations of the bronze age sky and the visible paths of the Moon and of the Sun. We here quote some of her observations.

Christ chef chakras
le Christ Le Chef de tribu  

6th august rock
La Recherche, june 97

The head of the tribe's outstrechted arms seem to point out the north-south axis. The altar rock, the head of the tribe rock (the most important of the site) and the Rouelle rock are situated according to this north-south axis.The Head of the tribe thus would have permitted to aim at the sun on the summer solstice, the autumn equinox and on the exact day between these two dates.

The 6 th august rock shows a drawing that corresponds to the path of the sun above the equator during one year, between the solstice and the equinox. On the same rock, an other drawing depicts two sinusoidals conform to the twelve lunar cycles. 
Lastly, concentric circles situated above the point corresponding to the summer solstice, might represent the capricorn constellation which reached culmination at that time at night during this period of the year.

To know more:
"Des gravures de la vallée des merveilles au ciel du Mont Bego",
defended thesis on 3/25/1997 by Chantale Jegues-Wolkiewiez

at the french UNSA Ethnology Laboratory.

Bonne route !