Cave of Swimmers
The Cave of Swimmers is a cave with ancient rock art in the mountainous Gilf Kebir plateau of the Libyan Desert section of the Sahara. It is located in the New Valley Governorate of southwest Egypt, the cave and rock art was discovered in October 1933 by the Hungarian explorer László Almásy. It contains Neolithic pictographs and is named due to the depictions of people with their limbs bent as if they were swimming. They are estimated to have created as early as 10,000 years ago with the beginning of the African Humid Period. Almásy devoted a chapter to the cave in his 1934 book and this theory was so new at that time that his first editor added several footnotes, to make it clear that he did not share this opinion. In 2007, Eman Ghoneim discovered an ancient mega-lake buried beneath the sand of the Great Sahara in the Northern Darfur region, the cave is mentioned in Michael Ondaatjes novel The English Patient and the film adaptation based upon it. The cave shown in the film is not the original but a set created by a contemporary artist.
Physical scientists who have been doing research in the area drew a link between the proposed swimming humans and two lakes that are 124 miles south of the cave. However, Andras Zboray, an archaeologist who is doing research in the area and he believes that the drawings are clearly symbolic. with an unknown meaning. Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, a doctor of anthropology and prehistory and he has pointed out parallels to the Coffin Texts indicating that the figures are deceased souls floating in the waters of Nun. Substantial portions of the cave have been damaged by visitors over the years. Fragments of the paintings have been removed as souvenirs and some surfaces have cracked after water was applied to enhance their contrast for photographs, modern graffiti have been inscribed upon the wall and tourist littering is a problem. Saharan rock art László Almásy, The Unknown Sahara, translation of the Hungarian original Az Ismeretlen Szahara,2002, by Andras Zboray Ladislaus E. Almasy, Schwimmer in der Wüste.
Auf der Suche nach der Oase Zarzura, DTV, München, ISBN 3-423-12613-2 The Cave of Swimmers Egyptian caves. Accessed March 2008 Cosmos magazine People followed the rains in ancient Sahara Friday,21 July 2006 by Marie Theresa Bray, accessed March 2008 https, //skfb. ly/UBOS 3D model
Cathole Cave, Cat Hole Cave or Cathole Rock Cave, is a cave near Parc Cwm long cairn at Parc le Breos, on the Gower Peninsula, Wales. It is a limestone outcrop, about 200 yards north of the cromlech along the Parc le Breos Cwm valley and near the top of the gorge. The cave is a deep triangular fissure penetrating the hillside and narrowing towards the top and it has two entrances, with a natural platform outside the larger of the two. It is about seven miles west south–west of Swansea, Wales, in what is now known as Coed y Parc Cwm at Parc le Breos. The cave was used as a shelter by bands of Mesolithic hunters, during the first excavation of the cave in 1864, finds were made only from the Mesolithic to medieval periods. Rock art from the Upper Paleolithic, thought to represent a reindeer, was discovered on the wall of Cathole Cave in September 2010. The engraving, measuring approximately 15 x 11 cm, has been dated to 14,505 ±560 BP. According to George Nash, the archeologist who made the discovery, it is the oldest rock art in the British Isles, flint rarely occurs in Wales other than in drifts, or as small pebbles on beaches.
Remains of red fox, Arctic fox, brown bear, tundra vole, other animal remains excavated during the 19th century, which may predate the Late glacial finds, include mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, red deer and giant deer. Several finds date to the Bronze Age, including a bronze socketed axe, two human skeletons, and sherds of pottery from burial urns and other vessels
In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural stone, it is largely synonymous with parietal art. A global phenomenon, rock art is found in many diverse regions of the world. It has been produced in many contexts throughout history, although the majority of rock art that has been ethnographically recorded has been produced as a part of ritual. Such artworks are often divided into three forms, which are carved into the surface, which are painted onto the surface. The oldest known rock art dates from the Upper Palaeolithic period, having found in Europe, Asia. Archaeologists studying these artworks believe that they likely had magico-religious significance, Rock art continues to be of importance to indigenous peoples in various parts of the world, who view them as both sacred items and significant components of their cultural patrimony. Such archaeological sites are significant sources of cultural tourism, and have been utilised in popular culture for their aesthetic qualities.
Normally found in cultures, a rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or living rock such as a cliff. They are a category of art, and sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture. However, they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, a few such works exploit the natural contours of the rock and use them to define an image, but they do not amount to man-made reliefs. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures, and were important in the art of the Ancient Near East. Rock reliefs are generally large, as they need to be to make an impact in the open air. Most have figures that are over life-size, and in many the figures are multiples of life-size, the vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are found. The term typically excludes relief carvings inside caves, whether natural or themselves man-made, natural rock formations made into statues or other sculpture in the round, most famously at the Great Sphinx of Giza, are usually excluded.
Reliefs on large boulders left in their location, like the Hittite İmamkullu relief, are likely to be included. The term rock art appears in the literature as early as the 1940s. It has described as rock carvings, rock drawings, rock engravings, rock inscriptions, rock paintings, rock pictures. The defining characteristic of rock art is that it is placed on natural rock surfaces, as such, rock art is a form of landscape art, and includes designs that have been placed on boulder and cliff faces, cave walls and ceilings, and on the ground surface
Cave paintings are painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings, mainly of prehistoric origin, to some 40,000 years ago in Eurasia. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known, evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. They are located in areas of caves that are not easily accessible. Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others, the paintings are remarkably similar around the world, with animals being common subjects that give the most impressive images. Humans mainly appear as images of hands, mostly hand stencils made by blowing pigment on a hand held to the wall. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals are at least 35,000 years old and are found in Pettakere cave on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, previously it was believed that the earliest paintings were in Europe. The earliest non-figurative rock art dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago, nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prehistoric times.
But subsequent technology has made it possible to date the paintings by sampling the pigment itself, the choice of subject matter can indicate chronology. For instance, the reindeer depicted in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas places the drawings in the last Ice Age. The oldest date given to a cave painting is now a pig that has a minimum age of 35,400 years old at Pettakere cave in Sulawesi. Indonesian and Australian scientists have dated other non-figurative paintings on the walls to be approximately 40,000 years old, the method they used to confirm this was dating the age of the stalactites that formed over the top of the paintings. The art is similar in style and method to that of the Indonesian caves as there were hand stencils and this date coincides with the earliest known evidence for Homo sapiens in Europe. Because of the cave arts age, some scientists have conjectured that the paintings may have made by Neanderthals. The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France and these paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE according to radiocarbon dating.
Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era, the radiocarbon dates from these samples show that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet,35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago. In 2009, cavers discovered drawings in Coliboaia Cave in Romania, an initial dating puts the age of an image in the same range as Chauvet, about 32,000 years old. Some caves probably continued to be painted over a period of thousands of years. This was created roughly between 10,000 and 5,500 years ago, and painted in rock shelters under cliffs or shallow caves, though individual figures are less naturalistic, they are grouped in coherent grouped compositions to a much greater degree
The Addaura cave is a complex of three natural grottoes located on the northeast side of Mount Pellegrino in Palermo, southern Italy. The importance of the complex is due to the presence of cave-wall engravings dated to the late Epigravettian, the finds are now conserved in Palermos Regional Archaeological Museum. Their importance is due to the presence of an extraordinary complex of rock engravings that decorate the walls. The name Addaura comes from Arabic, الدورة al-dawrah, the circuit, the discovery of the graffiti of Addaura was recent and came about quite casually. The three grottoes that make up the Addaura complex in the massif of Mount Pellegrino had already studied by paleoanthropologists. It was after the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily and their arrival in Palermo that the Allies, in search of a site, decided to use the grottoes for storing munitions. The graffiti were carefully studied by the archaeologist Jole Bovio Marconi, since 1997 the Addaura grottoes are no longer open for visitors, the site was closed because of the danger of falling boulders, due to the instability of the rocky ridge above.
As of 2012, the measures to reinforce the ridge have not been implemented. In one of the grottoes is found a vast and rich complex of carvings, the most conflicting hypotheses have been put forward on the question of the identity of these two characters and the significance of their position inside the group. According to some scholars, it might show acrobats caught in the act of playing games that require a particular ability, according to others there is depicted the scene of a ritual that called for the sacrifice of two persons guided by a shaman. To bear out this interpretation, there has been pointed out the presence around the necks and at the sides of the characters of cords that force their bodies into an unnatural, perhaps it is a ritual that calls for self-strangulation, something that is attested in other cultures. In line with this explanation, the two masked figures around the two sacrificed characters would be attending an initiation ceremony. Other scholars, including the discoverer Jole Bovio Marconi herself, have read the two figures as a homoerotic image.
Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer subsistence in Mediterranean coastal environments, a study of the diets of the earliest directly-dated humans from Sicily. Sicilia antica, costumi e personaggi dalla preistoria alla società greca, pictures of the Addaura grottoes Reference site Illustration of rock carvings
Cave of Beasts
The Cave of the Beasts is a huge natural rock shelter in the Western Desert of Egypt featuring Neolithic rock paintings, more than 7,000 years old, with about 5,000 figures. The shelter is located in the Wadi Sura at the foot of the Gilf Kebir Mountains in the remote south-western corner of Egypt’s New Valley Governorate near the border of Libya. The area, abandoned in present-day, is one of the most arid locations of the Sahara, the shelter was discovered in 2002 by archaeologists Massimo and Jacopo Foggini and Ahmed Mestikawi. In 2010 scientists of the University of Cologne carried out a study of the shelter. The rock paintings were created more than 7000 years ago at the beginning of the Neolithic age, at that time the Sahara’s climate was humid. In the Holocene period there was a lake at the foot of the shelter, at the end of the Holocene climatic optimum 6000 years ago, the climate pattern changed to arid and the area was depopulated. The shelter is 17 m wide and almost 7 m high and contains over 5,000 well-preserved figures painted with red, white, hundreds of hand and foot stencil are over-painted with groups of human creatures and therianthropic and acephalic mythological creatures.
Whereas the symbolism of the hand stencils can be found in cave paintings all over the world. The shelter is topped off by rock engravings. Many of the beasts were intentionally disfigured in prehistoric times, always surrounded by human creatures, the beasts catch the eye due to their body size and shape, Long tailed, bull-like body, frequently three footed with human-like legs. Even headless they appear either to spit or to swallow human creatures, some of the beasts seem to be wrapped in a kind of golden net. Furthermore, the shelter is covered with groups of dancing, floating or swimming human creatures, on the lower left edge of the shelter appear two groups of human creatures separated from each other by a rock crack. The ones above the crack are holding a sling over his head. Scattered throughout the shelter appear wild animals, An elephant, gazelles, along with the beasts the figures of the shelter represent a mythological world whose symbolism has not been deciphered yet. In February 2016 a report in National Geographic claimed that the hand-prints might have made by lizards.
Wadi Sura - the Cave of Beasts, a rock art site in the Gilf Kebir, jean-Loïc Le Quellec, Pauline et Philippe Flers, Du Sahara au Nil. Peintures et gravures davant les pharaons du Sahara au Nil, soleb Fayard, Paris 2005, ISBN 2-213-62488-7. D. J. Lewis-Williams, D. G. Pearce, Inside the Neolithic Mind, Cosmos, thames & Hudson, London 2005, ISBN 978-0500051382
Creswell Crags is an enclosed limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, near the villages of Creswell and Whitwell. The cliffs in the ravine contain several caves that were occupied during the last ice age and its caves contain the northernmost cave art in Europe. The caves contain occupation layers with evidence of flint tools from the Mousterian, proto-Solutrean and Maglemosian cultures and they were seasonally occupied by nomadic groups of people during the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. Evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age and post-medieval activity has found there. The site is open to the public and has a centre with a small museum of objects associated with the caves. As a result of its features, Creswell Crags has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It has put forward as a potential World Heritage Site. In 2006–07, the B6042 road was re-routed from its path through the gorge, by approximately 150 metres to the north, the gorge has been visited by Neanderthals, and people from the Gravettian and Magdalenian periods.
The most occupied caves were, Mother Grundys Parlour, which has produced numerous flint tools, Robin Hoods Cave, the location of a bone engraved with a horses head and evidence that its occupants hunted and trapped woolly rhinoceros and Arctic hare. The Pin Hole, the location of the Pinhole Cave Man, a figure engraved on bone and discovered in the 1920s. Church Hole, with more than 80 engravings on its walls, a bone engraved with a horses head and other worked bone items along with the remains of a variety of prehistoric animals have been found in excavations since 1876. The Ochre Horse was found on 29 June 1876 at the back of the chamber in the Robin Hood Cave. In 2003, the Ochre Horse was estimated to be between 11,000 and 13,000 years old. In April 2003, engravings and bas-reliefs were found on the walls and ceilings of some of the caves, the discoveries, made by Paul Bahn, Sergio Rippoll and Paul Pettitt, included an animal figure at first thought to be an ibex but identified as a stag.
Later finds included carvings on the ceiling of Church Hole Cave, to this day the finds at Creswell Crags represent the most northerly finds in Europe. Their subject matter includes representations of animals including bison and, some workers, consider that the bird figures are more likely to be female anthropomorphs. The engravers seem to have use of the naturally uneven cave surface in their carvings. This provides an age for the underlying engraving