New rock art sites in the southwestern sector of


New rock art sites in the southwestern sector of
New rock art sites in the southwestern sector
of Jebel Uweinat (Libya)
Francesco ROMANZI
Giannantonio SCHIRATO
Le regioni elevate del settore SW
del Jebel Uweinat, accessibili soltanto a piedi, furono parzialmente
esplorate nel 1934 dal prof. Umberto Mònterin. Una ricognizione recente ispirata agli scritti dell'illustre geologo ha portato alla scoperta di dodici nuovi ripari dipinti, riferibili per stile e contenuto ai popoli neolitici di pastori che hanno
abitato la regione fra il quarto e il
terzo millennio a.C. Uno di questi
ripari, la Caverna delle Giraffe, è
ornata da un ricco numero di soggetti fra cui si distingue la rappresentazione di un gruppo di ben sette giraffe finemente dipinte e di
una capanna abitata con ricchi dettagli sui recipienti in uso.
The SW highland of Jebel Uweinat,
accessible only on foot, was partially explored in 1935 by Prof Umberto Mònterin. The outcome of a recent reconnaissance inspired by the
papers of this famed geologist was
the discovery of twelve new painted
shelters referred to the pastoralist
peoples, who settled in the region
during the 4th and 3rd millennium
B.C. One of this newly discovered
the Giraffe
adorned by a large number of subjects. Among these, the depictions
of seven finely painted giraffes and
an inhabited hut with five different
detailed containers are remarkable.
Les reliefs situés au Sud-Ouest du
Jebel Uweinat, accessibles à pied
ont été partiellement
explorés en 1935 par le Prof. Umberto Mònterin. Une reconnaissance récente, inspirée par les articles
de ce géologue réputé, a permis de
douze nouveaux
peints, dont les figurations sont attribuables
aux pasteurs
dans la région du 4ème au 3ème
millénaire B.C. Un de ces abris, la
Grotte des Girafes, est ornée d'un
grand nombre de sujets parmi lesquels on note plus particulièrement
un groupe de sept girafes peintes
très finement et une hutte occupée,
avec des représentations
de cinq récipients différents.
The Libyan sector of the Jebel Uweinat massif, near the tripartite border with Sudan and Egypt, is rich in rock art sites. The area includes
the famed Ain Doua painted shelters, jointly discovered by Almasy
(1936) and Di Caporiacco (Caporiacco & Graziosi, 1934), the spectacular Bù Hlèga painted complex, discovered by Bellini & Arié (1962) in
Karkur Dris, and a number of rock art sites located near the basallevel
of the main valleys, Karkur Ibrahim and Karkur Dris (Le Quellec,
1998; Zboray, 2003). The majority of them are related to the pastoralist
peoples thriving in the Gilf Kebir-Jebel Uweinat region from the 4th to
the 3rd millennium B.C. (Linstadter & Kropelin, 2004).
A few brilliant exploratory hikes by Zboray (2003) on the Hassanein
Bey Plateau, the sandstone plateau extending from 1250 to above 1750
m a.s.l. (maximum elevation 1954 m), proved the existence of major
rock art sites also at elevations up to 1500 'm. From the low reaches of
the main wadis, where vegetation and water sources are still present
today, to the summit, Jebel Uweinat was intensively visited and exploited by the prehistoric peoples that so impressively expressed their
figurative world with thousands of paintings.
In addition to new spectacular rock art sites in the «Uweinat pastoral style», Zboray (2004, in press) also found evidence of an older stylistic phase that can be referred to the «Uweinat Roundhead style».
The atlas of the Uweinat rock art sites is still far from being completed; for the current effort in building a comprehensive electronic data base and for the history of past rock art discoveries, the interested
reader is referred to Zboray (2003).
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Correspondence should be addressed to:
'Alessandro Menardi Noguera
Via Alboino 4
1-27100 Pavia PV (Italy)
alessandro. menardi. [email protected]
Menardi Noguera - Carmignoto - Laberio Minozzi - Romanzi - Schirato - Soffiantini - Tormena
Site AD2
Site ADl
Site EHcd
Site EHab
Site KG4
Site KG3
Site KG2
Site KGl
Site KG5
Site EH2
While the voids at high elevations in the Sudanese sector started
to be filled in 2003, the upper region of the Libyan SW part of the
massif was still a «blank on the map». During the few days from the
29th March to the pt of April 2005, we visited the rugged SW plateau
of Jebel Uweinat. We succeeded in completing a 20 km-long hike in
the labyrinthic region enclosed between the Ain Doua cliffs and the
left slope of Karkur Ibrahim. Along our track, we discovered twelve
new rock art sites; two of them are major sites, including a very rich
and interesting iconography.
Past exploration
Or the Emeri
Fig. 1. Uweinat.Mapofthe visited
The possibility of finding new rock art sites was not the only reason
that made the Libyan area of the massif an interesting prospect. lt
was also the very inspiring reading of the almost forgotten papers by
Prof. Umberto Mònterin, a preeminent glaciologist and alpine geologist, who in 1934 was charged by the Reale Società Geografica Italiana
to lead a scientific expedition from Kufra to the Tibesti. His expedition
lasted four months and included, as secondary targets, also Wadi Abd
el Malik in the Gilf Kebir and Jebel Uweinat (Mònterin, 1935, a-b). At
the time of Mònterin's visit, the Istituto Geografico Militare had just
completed the reconnaissance survey at the 100.000 scale of Jebel
Uweinat (Marchesi, 1934). Therefore, the exploration of the massif
was quite advanced except for the SW highland. The topography of
this area resulted so poorly detailed on the I.G.M. map that the ltalian
cartographers were likely aware of the deficiencies of the job done. Exploration on foot in such a rocky mountain area, not suitable for camel
transport, is severely constrained by the limited amount of water that
can be carried on one's own shoulders by backpack.
Being a born mountaineer, on the 9 February 1934, Mònterin did
not hesitate to climb the massif second highest peak, at the time
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. Laberio Minozzi . Romanzi·
Schirato . Soffiantini . 'Ibrmena
named Cima Mussolini (1852 m). From the summit, Mònterin sighted
the SW highland of the Libyan Uweinat and noted the extremely complexhydrographic system of the region. Actually, only modern high-resolution Landsat or Terra-ASTER satellite images, in conjunction with
satellite elevation data (DEM) from the SRTM mission, show accuratelyenough the intricate morphology of the SW region.
The Tebu guides working for the ltalian army informed Mònterin
that the SW highland was known to them as Emeri. Apparently Mònterin did not realize that «Emeri» is very likely a corruption of the word
«enneri»,which in Tibesti indicates the main valleys, occasionally flooded by running water, sometimes converted to good grazing land in the
rainfall aftermaths. We retain the traditional place name, as the internationally available maps indicate no alternative.
Exploring the SW part ofUweinat, Mònterin found the way to enter
the Emeri plateau on foot starting from Karkur Ibrahim. It was not an
easymatter to get there; the steep southern granite ridge bordering the
massif is practically impassable. The Ain Doua cliff was climbed just
once,after strenuous efforts by the Marchesi expedition (Di Caporiacco,
1934).The Ain Zwèya ravine resulted impassable too, obstructed as it
wasby huge granite boulders, located above the highest water point.
Walking along the Emeri, Mònterin discovered also a path marked
by donkey droppings. This may appear very unusual, but the sporadic
presence of ass in Jebel Uweinat, likely due to occasional visits by
Goran nomads, was recorded in the oral tradition regarding Uweinat
(HardingKing, 1913) and testified by direct sighting in 1978 (EI Baz et
al., 1980).In 1983 G. Negro and A. Boccazzi saw several wild donkeys
in Karkur Talh (Negro, 2005; personal communication). It is unknown
if they were the outsprings of donkeys raised on the spot in the thirties
by the Goran people, at the time settled in Uweinat, or if they were
more recently released in the valley by Tebu nomads still roaming the
region, as noted by an ltalian geological expedition in 1961 (Bellini,
1962;unpublished report). Dried donkey droppings were also found and
documentedby our party. AlI the clues found by Mònterin about recent
human presence on the Emeri are reminiscent of the so-called rain oasis exploited by the Tebu people, discussed by Almasy (1936, 1939) as a
backgroundto the origin of the Zerzura legend and investigated by Peel
(1942)in his interesting anthropological study. In particular, the Emeri
case reminds the story of Wadi Abd el Malik in the Gilf Kebir, a wadi
exploitedby Goran riders as a secret grazing land (Almasy 1934; Rolle
1934).However, Mònterin's exploration on foot of the Emeri plateau
was quite limited in range. Apparently he did not reach the large hidden valley concealed between the Emeri and the Ain Zwèya-Ain Doua
granite ridge, so evident on satellite imagery for its white sandy bottomoPrior to our visit, this karkur was never documented (karkur
means wadi in Teda language). Shaped as a sandglass, the extension of
the valley flat bottom measures about 57 hectares. A «forest» of more
than 120 luxuriant acacias, mainly concentrated along the drainage
lines, covers the plain. This valley was nicknamed Karkur Gabor, as no
officialplace-name was found in the maps. In Teda language gabor
meanshideout or cave (Le Coeur, 1950).
While wandering along the Karkur Ibrahim tributaries just north
of Emeri, Mònterin and major Ottavio Rolle, the first ltalian military
governorof Kufra, discovered a spring with a permanent waterpool surrounded by seven palms, a sort of miniature oasis deeply concealed
among the rocks. The Tebu guides knew this spring as Ain Duarmé.
Worth to be mentioned, well before the first scientific exploration of
Jebel Uweinat by Ahmed Hassanein Bey (1925) in 1923, the British explorer Harding King (1913) collected from the Egyptian oasis natives
an interesting piece of information about Uweinat (Owana in the text)
that could refer to this spring. In fact, «a small high-level oasis» was
said to exist up on the mountain. Anyway, Ain Duarmé was not shown
on the ltalian maps, nor the exact location was displayed in any published sketch. Consequently, no mention is found on the international
maps inheriting the ltalian cartographic knowledge of colonial times.
Ain Duarmé became a «found and forgotten oasis». To our knowledge,
this nameless perennial water point is only vaguely indicated in
Goudarzi'sgeological map (Conant & Goudarzi, 1970), published at the
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2.000.000 scale, insufficient to establish an accurate location. Leonard,
co-leader of the 1968 Belgians' expedition (Leonard, 1969), was the first
European to revisit Ain Duarmé in post-war time and to publish a pieture (Leonard, 1999-2001).
From the clues colIected by the early explorers, the Emeri highland
emerges as a region that in the recent past was regularly exploited by
hunters or nomads. It is easy to conclude that this area had to be even
more favourable during prehistoric times, when rainfalIs were more
regular and herdsmen with cattle and goats were permanently settled
in the main valIeys.
Mònterin did not report any new rock art site on the Emeri highland. However, he discovered a painted site not far from a strategie waterhole with excellent water, hidden in a narrow crevasse, high up in
the cliff above Ain Doua. Its name is «I Galé Culojorti», in Teda language «the water that has to be reached by crawling on all fours». The
brave professor did not explain how he got there. Presumably, a Tebu
guide escorted him to the place.
Almàsy (1933) unsuccessfully looked for a spring he was told to be
located near Ain Doua; «1 Galé Culojorti- probably coincides with the
mysterious waterhole mentioned in the caravan-guides oral reports
transcribed by the French consul Fresnel while in Jedda (1849-1950).
Unfortunately, Mònterin did not publish any photographic documentation of the site and paintings nor indicated its precise location. To our
knowledge, nobody revisited this site in modern times.
The Emeri landscape
The Libyan sector of Jebel Uweinat is mainly formed by an alkaline
ring complex of Eocene age (Schandelmaier and Darbyshire , 1984),
including a great variety of intrusive to sub-intrusive rocks (Atherton
et al., 1978). According to the map published by Derek et al. (1978),
the outermost, older and incomplete ring is composed by a coarsegrained quartz-syenite varying to alkali-granite. The next internal
ring consists of coarse to medium grained quartz-syenite and granite
pervaded by trachitic dykes and sills. A third, more internaI, ring of
syenite, the only quartz-undersaturated intrusion of the complex, constitutes the highest internal watershed of the Emeri highland. The
highland central part, insisting on the second ring, is an oval-shaped
outcrop of very fine-grained cataclastic rock, not precisely determined. According to an unpublished survey by Hunting Geophysics,
included as a smalI-scale sketch without topography in Derek et al.
(1978), this body is a microgranite.
Weathering of the different lithotypes in the ring complex created a
variety of landscapes. Differential erosion generated wide-open valIeys,
arranged in concentric circles. Deep gorges formed along radial faults.
The quartz-syenite and granite of the outermost ring outcrops as steep
but smoothed pinnacles, covered by extremely large round boulders
that offer many sheltering places. Rough surfaces due to weathering of
the rock forming minerals, exfoliation and water percolation along the
round surfaces, make the majority of these shelters unsuitable for
hosting or preserving any form of rock art. However, relatively few of
them are provided with smooth walIs and vaults, plus even floors suitable for human occupation. Nine out of twelve of the newly found rock
art sites are in shelters formed by boulders, located within the first intrusive ring boundaries.
The Karkur Gabor valIey is entirely carved into the first ring.
This flat-bottomed valIey bounded by steep slopes colIects the rain
water falling on the Emeri highland. On the bottom plain, the yellowish erosion of clay and silt evidence the playa deposits of a prehistoric swamp or lake.
The Emeri Highland and Karkur Gabor together constitute a hydrographic system 70 square km wide, and its terminal segment is the
Ain Zwèya deep-valIey. It is the largest basin on the SW part of the
Uweinat massif. The amount of water colIected by the highland during
the Holocene humid phase was certainly very important as it is testified by the polished rocks and the large guelta observed in the deep incision of the fluvial segment entering Karkur Gabor from the Emeri.
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Menardi Noguera . Carmignoto - Laberio Minozzi - Romanzi - Schirato - Soffiantini - Tormena
2. Site KGl. Viewofthe Giraffe
Cave.(PhotoA. Menardi Noguera)
The present-day level of the karkur plain is 1.5-2 m deeper than the
palaeo-surface testified by playa deposits. The newly found painted
shelters in the valley are invariably located above the palaeo-surface.
Temporary springs and gueltas, characterized by clay deposits with
polygonalmud-cracks, occur at the two ends of the plain, in the cave
network formed by granite boulders collapsed from the rocky slopes.
The second ring is more intensely fractured and does not offer so
many good shelters. The fine-grained rocks of the central Emeri region
are prone to originate thick colluvial deposits, which on satellite images
couldbe misinterpreted as a badlands area. Although this area does
not offer natural shelters, the settlement conditions for shepherds look
potentially good, especially at the geologic contact with the first granite
ring delimiting the Emeri alluvial plains to the south.
Playa deposits are present on the Emeri highland where the main
wadi draining its NW sector forms a large meander opening into a wide
alluvial plain. This plain is possibly a good grazing ground after rainfalls as indicated by some sparse dried bush vegetation. Along this wadi, at 890 m a.s.l. (21 54' 57,5" N; 24 50' 54,2" E), an extended layer of
erodedpolymict conglomerate is exposed, originally discovered by Mònterin (1935, a-b-c), It is one more interesting evidence of the past elimate changes that affected the region.
The third ring of intrusive rocks is dissected by closely spaced fractures giving origin to a more conventional granite landscape with angular large stones and thick colluvial deposits.
Site KGl
The Giraffe Cave (site KG1) is located on the Karkur Gabor western
slope, facing the southern embayment of the plain (Fig. 2). At the
same level of the eroded palaeo-surface marked by lacustrine deposits,
somecollapsed granite boulders give way to a cave no more then 4 m
wide and 3 m deep. The ceiling is less than 1.5 m from the floor. A dihedral block encumbers the floor at the centre. This cave offers a good
shade even in the hottest day-hours, and from the interior it is possible to enjoy an open view of the valley. The entire cave vault is covered
by paintings depicting a large variety of subjects, such as human figures, wild and domestic animals. Most of them are in a very good
preservation state. Faint figures are also visible near the shelter edge.
Morethan 300 subjects have been counted, and this makes of KG1 by
far the major site in Karkur Gabor and a remarkable find in the Jebel
Uweinat rock art panorama. A digital photo-mosaic compiled at the
site is presented in Pl. A.
The various subjects are grouped in panels according to a few focal
points of interest, but a generaI meaning of the composition is missing. The superimposition of at least three distinct layers appears eviSAHARA16/2005
Menardi Noguera· Carmignoto - Laberio Minozzi - Romanzi· Schirato - Soffiantini· Thrmena
3. Site KGl. Close-upofthe hut,
with its inhabitants and household
objects,in the GiraffeCave.
(Seealso Pl. C)
dent. Of course, this is only a first-approach oversimplification since
each layer is likely the product of many single additions whose
chronology is very difficult to unravel,
Facing the painted surface northwards, the first panel attracting attention is in the right upper corner, where a giraffe herd with seven animals is painted in red ochre (Pl. A and B). They are shown in a natural
trotting posture, all marching rightwards, toward the shelter centre.
The fifth and sixth giraffe, from left to right, are smalIer, possibly
young individuals. The giraffes' ears and knobbed horns are also visible. In the background of the sixth giraffe there is a sort of tree, probably a stylised palm, painted in pale orange. The giraffes seem to be
accompanied in the foreground by a small antelope and a sort of
quadruped of difficult identification.
Engraved giraffes are quite common in Karkur Talh, in the Sudanese sector of Jebel Uweinat, but just few painted giraffes are
known in the massif. One is in Karkur Ibrahim (Le QuelIec, 1998) and
three others are known in the Sudanese sector (Zboray, 2003). According to a comment by A. Zboray (2005, personal communication), the giraffes discovered in the KG1 site are painted in exactly the same style
as the typical «Uweinat Pastoral style», apparently a unique phenomenon in Uweinat, supporting the idea that giraffes remained at
Uweinat well into the cattle periodo
Just below the lower left corner of the giraffe panel, an interesting
hunting scene involving two archers and a big animal occurs (Pl. B,
lower left). The animal, possibly a giraffe, is scarcely readable because
of the later overpainting of a dark-red bovid. The big animal interpreted as a giraffe covers in its turn another possible giraffe; in fact, two
heads and eight legs emerge from what looks like a single body; it is
unclear if the lowermost animal is part of the scene or just overpainted.
The two hunters are on their knees and vigorously stretch their bows,
as is evident by their bent arms and tight bowstrings; they are on the
verge of shooting their arrows against the big animaI. Some good similarities with this scene occur in the Belgians' Cave in Karkur Talh (Van
Noten, 1978: fig. 87-88). In posture and style, the two hunters are very
similar to the archers painted in the fighting scene between tribes, described at the same site (Van Noten, 1978: fig. 113 and 115).
Just above the giraffe group, a human figure is presento Drawn
with his left arm pointing towards the giraffes, he does not appear to
be part of the same scene. He is carrying a bow over his shoulder. The
head is represented by a single brush-stroke; a schematic convention
well documented in Karkur Talh (e.g.: Van Noten, 1978: fig 144 and
147; Zboray, 2003: site KT13/B ).
Near the vault centre of the Giraffe Cave, the fine depiction of a hut
inhabited by a «family»is in full evidence (Pl. C and Fig. 3). Depictions
of huts with their inhabitants and belongings are well attested at Ain
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Fig. 4. Ain Doua pottery.
BowlNo.2 ofthe E. DeAgostini
Collectionfrom the Museo Fiorentino
di Preistoria «PaoloGraziosi».
Note the suspension hole.
Doua(Caporiacco & Graziosi, 1934: Tav. 1 and 11) and in the Belgians'
Cave(Van Noten, 1978: fig. 138, 139). Another nice example is known
fromMagharat el-Kantara (Shaw's Cave; Shaw, 1936) in the Gilf Kebir,
a site revisited by Gauthier & Negro (1997). The KG1 hut is remarkablefor its richness in details. Five distinct containers painted in red
andwhite hang from the roof. The first one on the left is barely noticeable,depicted as it is as a wide open «mouth- with a few strings hanging from the bottom. It could be a simple suspended terracotta bowl.
Thesecond to the right is quite sophisticated, similar to the traditional
Tebucontainer named kelemi or kelei séne, used to store wheat or flour
(LeCoeur,1950: 122, fig. 142 and 148). It also recalls the gowe, a traditional terracotta amphora enclosed in a wickerwork casing, conceived
bothfor protection and suspension (Le Coeur, 1950: 113, fig. 77). Strings
hangingfrom the container can be noted. The third, round container is
painted in white, with a narrow mouth and strings hanging from the
bottom.The fourth is a square container with horizontal alternating red
and white stripes. The painted fabric is highly suggestive of a simple
saddlebagmade of vegetal material, possibly intertwined palm leaves.
Useofpalm leaves and fibres as a raw material in manufacturing everydayhousehold items was attested among Tebu people living according to
the traditional way of life as it was before 1950. A kind of rectangular
openbag, tied to the hut architrave by six suspension strings, is the last
objectto the right. This container is down-warped as ifit was overloaded
with something heavy. Horizontallines suggest the fabric is made of intertwined vegetal material.
Suspension of containers to keep foodstuff far from the contaminated soil and crawling animals, as shown in the Uweinat rock art sites, is
a practice confirmed by pottery findings. Many potsherds from Wadi
Bakht in the Gilf Kebir (McHugh, 1982), Karkur Talh in Jebel Uweinat
(VanNoten, 1978) and the Ain Doua burial ground (De Agostini 1934 ab; Graziosi, 1934) preserved in the «Paolo Graziosi» FIorentine Museum
ofPrehistory, are featured by suspension holes (Fig. 4). In 1934, Colonel
Enrico De Agostini unearthed two bowls and two complete skeletons.
One bowlwas intact. Due to unfortunate historical circumstances, only
somelarge fragments of the two bowls are still preserved in the museum. Surprisingly, one of them shows an elaborate wavy-dotted decoration imitating the fabric of a basket made of vegetal fibres.
In the painted hut, eight human figures are portrayed and they look
like anice family group. The person in the middle is embracing a child
with the naturally protective gesture of a mother with her child. She is
wearing bracelets (or painted body-ornaments?) on her right armo Two
figures on the left lean toward the mother and child couple with their
arrnsbent as on the verge ofreceiving the baby. The one dose to the baby is likely another woman as it appears from her breasts. She is wearing a bracelet on her right wrist. The figure on the far left is tall and
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Fig. 5. Site KG4. Sketchybull in a
(PhotoP. Carmignoto)
slim, with a V-shaped bust and an elongated head. His mouth is open,
his legs slightly flexed as if he had been sitting inside the hut. Four
more persons, partly blurred, are depicted on the right of the mother
and child; one is a youngster clanged to an adult whose sex is undeterminable. The person to the right, with the left arm upwardly bent, is
possibly an adulto Below the left arm a small human figure is present;
relative proportions suggest he may also be a youngster.
The superposition of different subjects over the hut is evident. A
pale orange bull in a dynamic attitude is painted over the people. On
the right side, it is possible to observe a beautiful reddish cow with emphasized udders, clearly added subsequently. This cow is overpainted
on a whitish quadruped, most likely a goat. In the left upper corner a
goat stands; it is well-defined, painted in red ochre, with exaggerated
udders. It is probably a later addition too, apparently belonging to the
same layer as the previously mentioned cow. Next to the lower right
corner, a group of domestic animals finely painted in red includes a cow
with a calfbetween its legs, a goat and a he-goat (or ram?). The emphasis on cattle and goat udders is commonly related to the importance of
milk as a valuable resource for the pastoral society.
Isolated from the hut, on the upper right, a couple of human figures
embracing and kissing are shown in an attitude that is not hard to define
as very intimate. The large pelvis and thighs distinguish the woman. This
scene is quite unusual since explicit erotic scenes do not emerge as a common theme in the Uweinat galleries referred to the pastoralists, nor do
they appear among the numberless paintings ofthe Giraffe Cave. A similar less explicit scene is documented at site KTW16 (Pl. J in Zboray,2003).
At least three layers form the complex superpositions observed in
the cattle and goat panel below the hut. The foreground layer consists
of red cattle and goat. The intermediate layer shows many white
quadrupeds. Among the white figures, a barbary sheep and an antelope
are recognizable near the vault centre, while a beautiful oryx and a second antelope are evident to the right. Faded quadrupeds, painted in orange and scarcely detailed, appear in the background layer.
The panel below the hut includes a multitude of quadrupeds, mainly goats, painted in dark violet ochre, drawn in a comparatively small
size. They are mainly facing right and many of them are in a running
attitude. Four small dark human figures are discernible among the
herd. The one to the right is kneeling and just below it a small orangered human figure appears.
To the upper right, another outstanding panel depicts three tall,
elongated humans (PI. D). The two figures facing left are women, with
their bosoms visible and tight legs, in a typical feminine posture. They
are apparently leaning against something not represented. Both have
their arms bent and their heads are quite elongated. The figure on the
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Fig. 6. Site ERI/A. A group offour
goats with neatly definedhorns and
beards. (PhotoA. Menardi Noguera)
left,probably a man, is painted in orange-red; perhaps this was a later
addition, as the man's head seems more realistic, although no facial
features are defined.
Tothe right of the three, an extremely elongated human being is
present,his arms stretched down along his sides. AlI around this figure
manygoats are depicted, some of them grazing, apparently belonging
to the more recent layer. There are also a he-goat (or ram?) with an outstanding fleece, a speckled calf in foetal or resting position, and four
small-sized,well-proportioned, stylized human figures. Two of them are
partially superposed over the white antelope mentioned before. To the
right of the hut, among the polychrome cattle, two remarkably realistic
cowspainted in red with white head and bellies face each other.
In the most interrial and shadowy part of the cave, behind the dihedral block encumbering the centre, more paintings occur, not
shownin the photo-mosaic. The most interesting subject is a woman
facing right, possibly a shepherdess, wearing a skirt and sitting
amongcattle and goats.
On the lower right, four goats and a sketchy drawing of a disproportionedhuman figure sucking milk from a goat's udder (Pl. E).
Some small unornamented pottery fragments, featured by a very
crudetemper, are scattered on the surface of the shelter floor.
Site KG2
In the shade of this shelter, located behind a labyrinth of boulders on
the western slope of Karkur Gabor, four human silhouettes in faint
red occur.The figures are identical, with well-proportionate muscular
bodies, but they are in different postures, apparently disposed in a
dancing circle. The one on the upper right holds a bow, recognizable
by its bowstring. Looking closely at the details one can note an isolated bowdose to the lower left figure, and a crescent-shaped object held
by the upper left figure, likely another bow. On the lower right, a
quadruped is hardly discernible.
Small potsherds decorated with wavy-dotted lines are scattered
on the shelter floor.
Site KG3
In the northern reach of Karkur Gabor, on the western slope, a large
boulderjust 2 m above the plain level (795 m) offers a convenient shelter. A small dome-shaped concavity on the ceiling preserves a speckled
bovid,facing right, with its body painted in red ochre, its cheeks, flanks
and belly in white. On its right, an undeterminable red quadruped and
onthe left an indecipherable faded figure can be noted.
SAHARA 16/2005
Menardi Noguera . Carmignoto - Laberio Minozzi . Romanzi· Schirato . Soffiantini - Tormena