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Some petroglyphs might be as old as 40,000 years, and petroglyph sites in Australia are estimated to date back 27,000 years.
Many petroglyphs are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, if not earlier, such as Kamyana Mohyla.
Petroforms, or patterns and shapes made by many large rocks and boulders over the ground, are also quite different.
Inuksuit are also unique, and found only in the Arctic (except for reproductions and imitations built in more southerly latitudes).
Some of these reliefs exploit the rock's natural properties to define an image.
Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures, especially in the Ancient Near East.
a common origin, and indicate a symbolic meaning, representing some popular thought." More controversial explanations of similarities are grounded in Jungian psychology and the views of Mircea Eliade.
Later glyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age in Scandinavia seem to refer to some form of territorial boundary between tribes, in addition to possible religious meanings.
Petroglyph styles has local or regional "dialects" from similar or neighboring peoples.
The term petroglyph should not be confused with petrograph, which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face.
Both types of image belong to the wider and more general category of rock art or parietal art.