Rock Art of the Khufu Region, Egyptian Western Desert: The Female Anthropomorphic Representations

نوع المستند : المقالة الأصلية


Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University


The final stage of the Holocene humid period covers approximately the sixth millennium BC. This period in the Western Desert of Egypt is connected to the late Bashandi A cultural unit (around ca. 6420 to 5700 BC) or the beginning of Bashandi B cultural unit (around 5400 or 5650 to 3950 BC) in Dakhla oasis, when the desert dwellers were hunter-gatherers. Followed by the Middle Holocene regionalization phase, which is linked to the late Bashandi B cultural unit or the early Sheikh Muftah cultural unit (approximately 3800-2900 BC) in Dakhla Oasis. Due to a fundamental climatic change in the Sahara during this phase, the Western Desert of Egypt was depopulated except for some sites with favorable conditions for living like the oases which offered water supplies. (McDonald, 2001; 2002; Riemer &Kindermann, 2008). Fortunately, the Western Desert of Egypt conserves numerous amounts of archaeological remains of the ancient dwellers. As not all of them were buried by dunes and rock art is one of them. Thus, there are countless sandstone hills covered with engraved, pecked, and incised petroglyphs that were executed in the soft rocks (Polkowski, et al., 2013).In terms of style and elaboration, the most outstanding type of prehistoric rock art recorded in the Western Desert of Egypt is the female anthropomorphic figures. The distribution of these engravings was widely extended to be found in the Khufu region, southwest of Dakhla Oasis. Therefore, the focus of this paper's research is on studying and interpreting this striking type of figure in the Khufu region. Trying to get the best outcomes, spatial distribution, statistical, and stylistic or typological analyses have been performed over the corpus data of the female figures in the Khufu region.

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