Sunday 20 November 2011

Egyptian Palaeolithic Rock Art

My hometown newspaper, The Vancouver Sun, ran a story the other day about some petroglyphs 600 km southeast of Cairo that were recorded 50 years ago by Canadian archaeologist Philip Smith, but which were undated until now. 
Extinct fauna on a cliff face above the banks of the Nile River at Qurta are estimated to be between 15,000 and 19,000 years old (image from The Vancouver Sun November 18, 2011).
The new dates would place these carvings smack dab in the middle of the time that the famous Lascaux paintings were being executed. These in Egypt include fish, gazelle, hippopotamus, and an extinct oxen. They were dated using the inherently problematic OSL technique. So the skeptic in me wants to remain open-minded about their true antiquity. Nevertheless, long-denied κῦδος to Professor Smith!

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