Saturday, May 5, 2012

Assessing Gilf Kebir Cultural Transmission

Map of Egypt showing ancient desert routes: 
Dakhla-Gilf Kebir-Kufra
Gilf Kebir-Uweinat

In this paper, the authors assess the possibility that Wet Phase herders transmitted their mythical beliefs between the Nile Valley and Gilf Kebir in the Western Desert.  The assessment is based on a comparison of drawings at Gilf Kebir [dated to approximately 6500 bp and located on the route north from Jebel Uweinat] and the written funerary texts of the ancient Egyptian Nile.

Prehistoric Swimmers in the Sahara

Pauline de Flers, Phillippe de Flers, and Jean-Loïc Le Quellec (2007)
Arts et Cultures, Revue des Musées Barbier-Müller, 2007 : 46-61
(Link

"The Neolithic Age underwent a long period when atmospheric conditions made life impossible in the dessert.  A less arid stage followed over several millenia when desert populations began to settle and civilizations developed.  Then a period of renewed dryness set in and these populations were forced to emigrate to the south and also east toward the Nile Valley."

"Recent twenty-first century discoveries have given rise to a series of new questions.  Were these movements really as one-directional as previously believed?  Could a return to the desert have been possible in spite of the extreme drought conditions that caused the initial exodus?  And, what overwhelming attraction could have driven these people to re-confront such conditions?"

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