New paper on the unique Epipalaeolithic geometric rock art at el-Hosh, Upper Egypt

The unique geometric rock art motif at location ATB 14 at el-Hosh in Upper Egypt. Photos: Per Storemyr

The unique geometric rock art motif at location ATB 14 at el-Hosh in Upper Egypt. Photos: Per Storemyr

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 the discovery in Ancient Egypt Magazine.

The Epipalaeolithic geometric rock art assemblages in Egypt are now fairly well-known (further reading here) and some of their components, such as fish traps, can be reasonably well interpreted. But most motifs yet resist any closer identification and understanding of meaning. So also with the unique motif at el-Hosh. In the new paper we compare with a few other very intricate Epipalaeolithic motifs in Egypt, such as in Wadi Umm Salam in the Eastern Desert (see picture below) – in addition to describing the el-Hosh motif.

And we write: “It cannot be determined whether or not this design is entirely abstract or figurative in some way. P.S. proposes that it may represent elaborate headgear or a mask, whilst D.H. thinks it may be a geometricised topographical image. In the absence of any objects or documents from the Egyptian Epipalaeolithic archaeological record, at the moment it is not possible to relate the motif to any identifiable living creature or inanimate object.”

Any other ideas?

Reference

Huyge, D. & Storemyr, P. (2013): Unique Geometric Rock Art at el-Hosh. Ancient Egypt Magazine, 13, 6, 24-30.  PDF at Dirk Huyge’s academia.edu site

A complex geometric figure from Wadi Umm Salam (site SAL 12) in the Upper Egyptian Eastern Desert. Site originally found by the Eastern Desert Survey by "The Followers of Horus" in the 1990s. Photo: Per Storemyr

A complex geometric figure from Wadi Umm Salam (site SAL 12) in the Upper Egyptian Eastern Desert. Site originally found by the Eastern Desert Survey by “The Followers of Horus” in the 1990s. Photo: Per Storemyr

Location of el-Hosh

About Per Storemyr

I work with the archaeology of old stone quarries, monuments and rock art. And try to figure out how they can be preserved. For us - and those after us. For the joy of old stone!
This entry was posted in Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, New publications, Rock art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to New paper on the unique Epipalaeolithic geometric rock art at el-Hosh, Upper Egypt

  1. Neil Hassall says:

    This may be a bit of a leap, but the central motif reminds me a little of the Sun rising between the two mountains on the horizon, an image found throughout Ancient Egyptian art. Could the petroglyph be a (very) early depiction of this moment of creation?

  2. alain anselin says:

    fascinating !
    best wishes
    Alain Anselin, caribbean mummy

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