An Egyptian-American archaeological mission, led by scientists from Yale University has discovered rock art in the eastern desert of Egypt that portrays various animals. According to experts, the rock art is around 5,500 years ago old.
The archaeological site proves the continuity and interaction between the art of the valley of the Nile and the desert in Predynastic times.
John Coleman Darnielen, head of the Yale University mission said the mission has found at least three concentrations of rock art in the Wadi Umm Tineidba site. Among other things, researchers have also come across a number of burial mounds that belong to the late Predynastic period.
“The rock art shows the adoption of Nile Valley imagery by a group whose earlier art has more in common with that of other Eastern Desert sites,” Darnell said in the statement.
“The importance of the Bir Umm Tineidba rock art and burial tumuli for understanding the integration of ‘marginal’ groups into the early pharaonic culture and state is considerable.”
The rock art in these sites reveals important painted scenes of Naqada II and Naqada III (circa 3500-3100 BC), providing evidence for the continuity and interaction of the artistic styles of the eastern desert and the Nile valley.
Researchers point towards a particularly impressive image (probably from 3300 BC) which includes large representations of animals, including a bull, a giraffe, an adax, a barbary sheep, and donkeys.
Experts explain how in a moment immediately before the invention of hieroglyphics, rock art like this provides important clues to religion and the symbolic communication of the Predynastic Egyptians.
The great adax, in particular, deserve to be added to the artistic achievements of Egypt, reports the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.