The rock paintings in Transfarelv are one of the five rock art areas which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is also the only world heritage area with painted figures.

Photo: Mari Strifeldt Artnzen

The paintings were reported to Tromsø Museum in 1966, but their existence was known to local residents long before then. The sites are at Rafsnesfjellet on the east side of the Altafjord in a landscape characterised by rocky outcrops, narrow passes, and stone screes. Here there are human figures, deer/reindeer, geometrical figures, lines and patches of colour. The colouring agent that was used was iron oxide mixed with blood, fat or other binding agents. These six sites are between 20 and 52 metres above sea level on near vertical rock faces with or without an overhang. There are about 60 figures in total. The red colour varies in shade from warm to blueish nuances. They were painted with both fingertips and brushes made of animal hair or plant fibres.