viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

Mysterious 5,000-year history of ancient Libyan rock art revealed

1/2. (Heiko Riemer)

Rock art and pottery reflect the rise and fall of cattle grazing in the Gilf Kebir region.

Archaeologists have established an "absolute chronology" of prehistoric rock art in the Gilf Kebir region for the first time, using data from rock art, carbon dating, stratigraphy and other archaeological methods.

The history of rock art in the Gilf Kebir region, which stretches across parts of Libya, Sudan and Egypt, has been the subject of much speculation until now. Archaeologists have now published a new timeline for art in the region according to three distinct phases in a paper published in the journal Antiquity.

The research uses three independent datasets on the history of the region: climate data recorded in the rocks, archaeological data from inside and around the caves analysed by carbon-dating, and analysis of the styles of rock art and their superimposition.

"All three confirmed the same chronology completely independently," study author Stefan Kröpelin of the University of Cologne told IBTimes UK.

Around 8500 BCE, groups of hunter-gatherers occupied the area. The climate of the region was different today: summer monsoons influenced the climate of the region leading to heavy rainfall in Gilf Kebir.

This first occupation of the area lasted for about 2,000 years, archaeologists say, using data from carbon-dating, stratigraphy and other natural environmental records. Humans in this epoch, known as Gilf A, did not dabble much in rock art, and there are few examples of rock paintings from this era.

After 6500 BCE, a new phase of human life in the Gilf Kebir region took hold: Gilf B. This period saw an explosion of art, including ceramics, engravings and a range of painting techniques.

"The start of this period coincided with the first major production of rock art, both engravings and paintings," the authors write in the paper... (Video)

Actualización: Primeras dataciones absolutas para el arte rupestre de Gilf Kebir
Esta región, entre Libia, Sudán y Egipto, atesora representaciones realizadas entre 8.500 y 3.500 años a.C.
En muchas ocasiones, las dataciones absolutas del arte rupestre resultan especialmente complicadas, al ser necesario recurrir a información del entorno de las pinturas, que nos proporcionan datos indirectos. Esto había provocado grandes discusiones cronológicas sobre el arte rupestre de Gilf Kebir, una zona actualmente desértica que se extiende entre Libia, Sudán y Egipto. Ahora por fin se ha podido presentar una periodización de estilos acompañada de una cronología absoluta, gracias a los datos obtenidos sobre los cambios climatológicos de la zona, las dataciones por radiocarbono de elementos arqueológicos localizados en el entorno de los abrigos y cuevas, y las propias superposiciones identificadas en los paneles con representaciones artísticas...

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