The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Gilf Kebir rock art chronology
Tuesday 21 March 2017

A recent article by Martha Henriques on ibtimes.co.uk - Mysterious 5,000-year history of ancient Libyan rock art revealed - reports on the research of rock art and pottery reflecting the rise and fall of cattle grazing in the Gilf Kebir region.

Gilf Kebir rock art chronology
Rock art in the Cave of Swimmers, showing art in the Wadi Sura style from between about 6100-4800 BCE. Image: Stefan Kröpelin

Archaeologists have established an absolute chronology of prehistoric rock art in the Gilf Kebir region, which stretches across parts of Libya, Sudan and Egypt, for the first time, based on rock art, carbon dating, stratigraphy and other archaeological methods.

Archaeologists have published a new timeline for the art according to three distinct phases in a paper published in the journal Antiquity

 
Article continues below
 

According to study author Stefan Kröpelin of the University of Cologne, the research uses three independent datasets: climate data recorded in the rocks, archaeological data from inside and around the caves analysed by carbon-dating, and analysis of the styles of rock art and their superimposition. All three confirm the same chronology completely independently. (Dates are approximate).

8500 BCE: Epoch Gilf A - groups of hunter-gatherers occupied the area. Summer monsoons influenced the climate of the region leading to heavy rainfall in Gilf Kebir. Only a few examples of rock paintings. Occupation of the area lasted for about 2,000 years.

6500 BCE: Epoch Gilf B - a new phase of human life, with an explosion of art, including ceramics, engravings and a range of painting techniques. The Wadi Sura style became popular in this phase, demonstrated at sites such as the Cave of Swimmers and the Cave of Beasts in western Gilf Kebir. 

Rock art from the Gilf Kebir region in the present-day Sahara desert showing that cattle once grazed there when it was lush and green. Image: Heiko Riemer

4400 BCE: Epoch Gilf C - human inhabitants developed the cattle pastoralist style (above). These paintings feature large groups of cattle with different markings, accompanied by human figures. Change in climate in the region, from short summer monsoon seasons to heavier winter rains, ideal for grazing cattle. Referred to as the golden age of rock art in the Gilf Kebir region, lasting until about 3500 BCE, when the area was abandoned due to aridity and desertification.

Exploring the Rock Art of Gilf Kebir:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/africa/gilf_kebir_cave_of_swimmers/index.php

Comment
Rock Art
Bighorn Sheep and Native Cosmology 2019
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 22 July 2019
New publication on rock art in Brazil
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 18 July 2019
New publication on rock art of Utah
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 13 June 2019
Palaeolithic engraved stone discovered in France
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 06 June 2019
Tourism and rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 05 June 2019
Podcast on rock art & contemporary art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 17 May 2019
Extensive rock art revealed in India
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 07 May 2019
Rock art discovered in India
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 March 2019
Portable art with rare scene
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 March 2019
Proto Writing System
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 March 2019
Can we interpret rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 26 February 2019
New Zealand rock art site
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 18 February 2019
Markings in Creswell Crags
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 15 February 2019
Crow Canyon Cultural Tour
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 07 February 2019
How Art Began
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 25 January 2019
Bradshaw Chairman awarded honorary degree
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 17 January 2019
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART
Bighorn Sheep and Native Cosmology 2019
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 22 July 2019
New publication on rock art in Brazil
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 18 July 2019
New publication on rock art of Utah
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 13 June 2019
Palaeolithic engraved stone discovered in France
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 06 June 2019
Tourism and rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 05 June 2019
Podcast on rock art & contemporary art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 17 May 2019
Extensive rock art revealed in India
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 07 May 2019
Rock art discovered in India
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 March 2019
Portable art with rare scene
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 March 2019
Proto Writing System
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 March 2019
Can we interpret rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 26 February 2019
New Zealand rock art site
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 18 February 2019
Markings in Creswell Crags
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 15 February 2019
Crow Canyon Cultural Tour
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 07 February 2019
How Art Began
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 25 January 2019
Bradshaw Chairman awarded honorary degree
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 17 January 2019
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store