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- Would you have liked to live here, at Kropfenstein medieval cave castle?
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Category Archives: Rock art
A year ago Dirk Huyge and I published a paper in the Sahara journal on a unique rock art “masterpiece” found among the Epipalaeolithic “geometric” (c. 5-9000 BC) assemblage at el-Hosh in Upper Egypt. Recently, we published another version of … Continue reading
Gharb Aswan – or West Aswan – is the home to some 50.000 Nubian peoples on the west bank of the Nile, by the first cataract opposite the city of Aswan. Among archaeologists and tourists the area is renowned for the “Tombs of the Nobles” at Qubbet el-Hawa and the Coptic St. Simeon’s monastery, both on the UNESCO World Heritage List. But Gharb Aswan is much more than this, for here it is possible to follow human interaction with the landscape for millennia, almost throughout the history of humankind. With a focus on the unique stone working traditions, here’s a synopsis of the “unknown” archaeology of this beautiful desert area – with slideshow, map, bibliography and an overview of missions that have worked here. Continue reading
Earlier this week I attended a workshop on conservation of the prehistoric rock art at Alta in Northern Norway. This gave me the opportunity to take a closer look at the great Stone Age panels in the Hjemmeluft area, which … Continue reading
The rock art at el-Hosh in Upper Egypt is renowned for its fish trap motifs dating to the Epipalaeolithic period (c. 9000-5000 BC). However, during the 2010 field season undertaken by the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels … Continue reading
Grisons – or in German Graubünden – is the largest canton in Switzerland, in the middle of the Alps, bordering Italy and Austria. It is renowned for its magnificent nature and countless medieval castle ruins. But Grisons has a truly … Continue reading
The Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira, Egypt: Landscape, archaeology, threats and conservation
Since the publication of the threats to the Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira three weeks ago, there has been much response through e-mail and social media, and the case has been covered by many online magazines and blogs. People in Egypt and elsewhere are concerned, and I wish to thank you all for your interest and for bringing the case along to friends and colleagues, as well as to administrators and politicians. There now seems to be a need for an “unbiased”, comprehensive overview of what is actually known about the landscape, the archaeology, the rock art, the threats, current conservation efforts and options for the future. The overview below is based on published literature, and information that otherwise belongs to the public sphere. It is written in close cooperation with Adel Kelany, and we have benefitted from input by Dirk Huyge. Continue reading
In 2007 one of the most important recent archaeological discoveries in Egypt were made in Wadi (Chor) Abu Subeira near Aswan: A team led by Adel Kelany of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) found a stunning assemblage of petroglyphs dating to the Late Palaeolithic era (c. 15-20.000 years ago). But now this truly unique testimony of mankind’s early art is on the verge of destruction due to modern mining. Continue reading
Though Prehistoric rock art certainly had a meaning, its implications usually remain mysterious for us moderns. But sometimes the rock art conveys funny things to speculate on. What about big-eared Mickey Mouse at Gharb Aswan in Upper Egypt: Was he … Continue reading
Over the last few weeks I’ve been back in Norway for projects on conservation of medieval castle ruins, as well as on provenance of medieval and more modern building stone. Here are some impressions!*
It is a miracle that Egypt’s Late Palaeolithic rock art has survived for at least 15.000 years – and especially for the last 50 years of intensive modern development in the country. At Qurta by Kom Ombo, for example, the … Continue reading