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This type of Stone Age art is traditionally divided into two main categories: (1) Petroglyphs: meaning, rock engravings or carvings; this category also includes works of prehistoric sculpture that are part of the rocks themselves (known as parietal art), such as relief sculpture. While these petroglyphs and pictographs have been found on the walls of caves, or on exposed outdoor sections of rock, in practice, the earliest art of Europe was created in subterranean caves, while in (say) Northern Africa it is found mostly on the surface of the ground.
A third, smaller category of rock art is associated with Megaliths or Petroforms, involving the arrangement of stones to create a type of monument (eg. Petroglyphs are generally made by removing the surface of the rock, by carving, scratching, drilling, or sculpting.
In 1968, the Swiss author Erich von Däniken published Chariots of the Gods? In it, he put forth his hypothesis that, thousands of years ago, space travelers from other planets visited Earth, where they taught humans about technology and influenced ancient religions.Because of the somewhat short half-life of 14C, radiocarbon dating is not applicable to samples with ages greater than about 50,000 years, because the remaining concentration would be too small for accurate measurement.Thermoluminescence dating: this method is associated with the effect of the high energy radiation emitted as a result of the decay or radioactive impurities.Some of these images have a special cultural and/or religious significance for the societies that created them.The most important, but mysterious, type of petroglyph is the cupule - a non-functional cup-shaped hole created by percussion in the horizontal or vertical surface of a rock.