Tag Archives: rock art

Rock art and red-coated bedrock in Alta, Arctic Norway

Over the past few years Karin Tansem of the Alta World Heritage Rock Art Centre and I have investigated the hypothesis that the famous rock engravings in Alta originally was made on strongly red-coloured bedrock along the seashore. The post-glacial land uplift has subsequently displaced the rock art and the colour has almost completely waned, leaving the rocks dull grey, as we know them today. Now we are happy that our work is finally published as an open-access paper, with Karin as driving force and lead author, in the international journal Geoarchaeology! Here’s the abstract explaining the phenomenon and its implications, and a link to the full paper. Continue reading

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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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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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Happy New Year with a cavalcade of stone images from 2013

I want to thank my readers for following my blog in 2013. Happy New Year to you all!

I really do appreciate your loyalty and I hope to be able to write more articles for you about stone – about quarries, monuments and rock art – in 2014 than I did in 2013. In the year that is soon coming to an end I had to focus on various projects and writing for other media than the internet. Many of the great places that I visited and worked at in 2013 may certainly turn up in future blog posts, so I hope you will continue to follow my writings in 2014. As for now, here’s a cavalcade of images from some of the quarries, monuments and rock art sites that touched me over the past twelve months. They span all of history from the Mesolithic to the Early Modern era. Enjoy the slide show! Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Norway, Old quarries, Rock art, Switzerland | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

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

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The little-known archaeology of Gharb Aswan, Upper Egypt

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

Posted in Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Old quarries, Rock art | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

The World Heritage Rock Art at Alta in Northern Norway

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

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A masterpiece of Epipalaeolithic geometric rock art from el-Hosh, Upper Egypt

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

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Alpine heritage impressions from a summer in Grisons (Graubünden, Switzerland)

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

Posted in Archaeology, Old mines, Old quarries, Rock art, Ruins, Switzerland | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

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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