The rock art in Alta is one of the eight Norwegian entries on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The world heritage in Alta consists of five areas of both rock carvings and rock paintings, the oldest of which are more than 7000 years old. The rock art came to be over a period of five thousand years. In this time Alta was an important meeting point for people from both coastal and inland areas.
The rock art was made by hunter and gatherers, and in the Alta region more than 6000 carvings have been documented. More than 3000 of these can be found in Hjemmeluft, by the museum. This is the only area that has been made accessible to the public. In the snow-free period of the year a set of trails will lead you through the world heritage area outdoors, and you can choose between various options to learn about the world heritage of Alta; a guide leaflet, an audio guide, or a personal guide.
The rock art in Alta was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. The reasoning for this entry was the following:
The rock art in Alta, comprising thousands of paintings and carvings, is an outstanding testimony of aspects of the life, the natural surroundings and the activities of the hunter gatherers in the arctic area in prehistoric times.
The great variation in motifs and scenes has a high artistic quality, and reflect a long tradition of interaction between hunter-gatherers and the nature, as well as the development of symbols and rituals from around 5000 BC to year 0.