Friday, July 25, 2008

Rock art at Qurta - INORA 51 2008

International Newsletter on Rock Art (in PDF Format)

Thanks very much to Dr Dirk Huyge for letting me know that an article about his work at Qurta is available on the above website, free of charge. The article is accompanied by a map of the site's location and some lovely images. Here's a short extract:


The recent discovery (2004-2007) of a vast open air complex of Late Palaeolithic rock art in Upper Egypt, announced in the Project Gallery of the British journal Antiquity (Huyge et al. 2007), has aroused worldwide interest making it already well-known among the international
rock art community. The particular circumstances of this find, which is, at least in part, a rediscovery, have been detailed in the above-mentioned Internet publication and will not be repeated here.

Late Palaeolithic naturalistic-style petroglyphs in Egypt are thus far known from two locations: locality 11 at Abu Tanqura Bahari at el-Hosh (henceforth ATB11) and Qurta (Fig. 1). At Qurta three sites have been localized bearing this type of rock art: Qurta I, II and III (henceforth QI, QII and QIII) (Fig. 2-3). In all, slightly less than 200 drawings have been identified: about 35 at ATB11 and about 160 at Qurta. As the recording of the sites progresses, this number will definitely increase. Both at ATB11 and at Qurta, bovids are the major rock art theme (Fig. 4-6). These animals are undoubtedly aurochs or Bos primigenius. No less than 70 percent of the rock drawings represent this species. Other types of fauna include birds (at least 7 examples) (Fig. 7), hippopotami (at least 3 examples), gazelle (at least 3 examples) (Fig. 7), fish (2 examples) and donkey (1 example). In addition, there are also (at least) 9 stylised representations of human figures (mostly shown with pronounced buttocks, but no other bodily features) (Fig. 8).

If you are intersted in rock art you should check out the other articles in the newsletter too - and don't miss other INORA issues.

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