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Saharan Rock Art: Local Dynamics and Wider Perspectives

Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Antichità, Sapienza Università di Roma, Via dei Volsci 122, 00185 Rome, Italy
Arts 2013, 2(4), 350-382;
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Collection World Rock Art)
Rock art is the best known evidence of the Saharan fragile heritage. Thousands of engraved and painted artworks dot boulders and cliffs in open-air sites, as well as the rock walls of rockshelters and caves located in the main massifs. Since its pioneering discovery in the late 19th century, rock art captured the imagination of travellers and scholars, representing for a long time the main aim of research in the area. Chronology, meaning and connections between the different recognized artistic provinces are still to be fully understood. The central massifs, and in particular the "cultural province" encompassing Tadrart Acacus and Tassili n’Ajer, played and still play a key role in this scenario. Recent analytical and contextual analyses of rock art contexts seem to open new perspectives. Tadrart Acacus, for the richness and variability of artworks, for the huge archaeological data known, and for its proximity to other important areas with rock art (Tassili n’Ajjer, Algerian Tadrart and Messak massifs) is an ideal context to analyze the artworks in their environmental and social-cultural context, and to define connections between cultural local dynamics and wider regional perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sahara; Tadrart Acacus; Libya; Holocene; Rock art; Landscape Sahara; Tadrart Acacus; Libya; Holocene; Rock art; Landscape
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Gallinaro, M. Saharan Rock Art: Local Dynamics and Wider Perspectives. Arts 2013, 2, 350-382.

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