October 22, 2012

Periodization of Saharan rock art

Marnie has a most interesting blogpost today on the periodization of Saharan rock art, specifically at Tadrart Acacus site in SW Lybia. It is not a well known matter so I am recycling her entry and the materials at Amis de l'Art Rupestre Saharien[fr/en/de/it] to make a quick visual note here on the matter.

Periodization dates are based on description at UNESCO site but need not to be correct for all pieces or not all authors need to agree to them. Here I follow that lead after some thoughts just because of its simplicity, which may well be misleading. It should only be taken as a very basic introductory note, nothing else.

Naturalistic or bubaline phase (14-10,000 BP):


··> more info at AARS.

Reminds a bit of rock art from Qurta (Nubia, Egypt).

Round head phase (10-6,000 BP):


··> more info at AARS.

Bovidian or Pastoral phase (6000-3500 BP):


··> more info at AARS.

As Marnie mentions, this phase would be approximately after the date of earliest clear evidence for milking in Africa, which is of c. 7000 BP.

Caballine phase (3500-2000 BP):


··> more info at AARS.

This would be soon after the date of arrival of the Hyksos to Egypt, who brought the chariot from Asia.

Cameline phase (since 2000 BP):


··> more info at AARS.

Dromedaries were probably introduced in Egypt (and the rest of Africa) with the Persian invasion c. 500 BCE.

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