Tag Archives: conservation

Palaeolithic rock art at risk: New discoveries in Wadi Abu Subeira, Upper Egypt

The number of discovered Late Palaeolithic rock art sites in Wadi Abu Subeira (Upper Egypt) is ever increasing, now with finds also outside of the wadi, at el-Aqba el-Saghira. Archaeologist Adel Kelany of the Ministry of Antiquites (MAS) in Aswan has just published an overview paper, now listing ten sites, all with numerous panels. The largest site has a much as a hundred ones. As previously noted on this blog, this world-class rock art is under heavy pressure from modern mining, though efforts to protect the sites have shown some effect recently. Continue reading

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Steinhoggerne – hvem var de? En reise i tid og rom

Mange spør meg om hvem steinhoggerne var i gamle dager. Var de frie folk, var de treller, var de svært proffe? Eller hadde de et yrke som egentlig alle kunne utøve? Ikke lett å svare på! For bryting, hogging og … Continue reading

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Geologi og kulturminner – bevaring av gamle steinbrudd

“Verdifull naturarv” – det var temaet på NGU-dagen 5-6 februar 2015. Det dreide seg om forvaltning, bruk og vern av Norges geologiske mangfold. Kulturminner og kulturlandskap er en selvfølgelig del av dette temaet og dermed også gamle steinbrudd. De viser på en sjeldent instruktiv måte menneskenes omgang med det geologiske mangfoldet. Men for å kunne formidles, må bruddene bevares! Dette var temaet for mitt foredrag på seminaret. Her kan du lese en lett redigert versjon av innlegget, med tilhørende powerpoint-bilder. Continue reading

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The ancient stone quarries in Egypt as a new, serial World Heritage Site?

Stone quarries were extremely important in ancient cultures, yet they are hardly represented on the World Heritage List. This might be due to misconceptions of the nature of such sites, as producers of raw materials “only”. But in reality many … Continue reading

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A Palaeolithic, life-size Nubian ibex carved on rock: Adel Kelany with new discoveries in Wadi Abu Subeira, Upper Egypt

Archaeologist Adel Kelany of MSA Aswan recently published a key paper on the Late Palaeolithic rock art in Wadi Abu Subeira, Upper Egypt. The paper reports findings from the site CAS-13, which features a true rock art masterpiece: a life-size, almost two metres long Nubian ibex, accompanied by large-scale images of aurochs. The findings tie in with previously reported Late Palaeolithic rock art in Subeira, a wadi north of Aswan. It is also similar to the now famous Late Palaeolithic rock art analysed by Dirk Huyge and team at Qurta near Gebel el-Silsila and at el-Hosh further downstream of the Nile river. This is rock art dating 15-20.000 years back in time and similar to the grand European Late Palaeolithic rock art traditions. Read on for link to Adel’s paper and more information. Continue reading

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Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 8 – The quarry at Widan el-Faras that disappeared

Many of you know the Old Kingdom basalt quarries at Widan el-Faras in the Northern Faiyum Desert. Some of you are also familiar with the partial destruction of the quarries by modern basalt quarrying. When we first started to work at Widan, about 12 years ago, in a project headed by Elizabeth Bloxam at UCL, the breathtaking lava and escarpment landscape was still quite pristine. A few years later a substantial part of the quarries had been eaten by machines. Though we had learnt by then that many other quarries in Egypt were under threat from modern development, Widan was a key reason for starting the QuarryScapes project – an EU-funded project on conservation of ancient quarries. Continue reading

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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

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Classic Cars, Castro’s Cuba: Conservation in practice

Slightly off-topic, but how Cubans skilfully care for their classic Plymouths, mFords, Buicks and Pontiacs may be a reminder for anyone dealing with heritage conservation. However, it is not necessarily out of love that the Cubans care for their cars, … Continue reading

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International conference on millstone in Bergen – and the Hyllestad quarry landscape

Last week the Norwegian “millstone community” invited to an international conference in Bergen – “Seen through a millstone: Geology and archaeology of quarries and mills”. It included an excursion to the Hyllestad quarries where the participants got to know a … Continue reading

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Impressions from summer fieldwork in Norway

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!*

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