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Egyptian influence in Saharan rock art

 
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tadrart


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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2017
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MessagePosté le: Lun 17 Avr - 17:23 (2017)    Sujet du message: Egyptian influence in Saharan rock art Répondre en citant

Rolling Eyes Hello friends,

A lot has been said and written about the so-called "Egyptian influence" in Saharan rock art. Although I do not deny that some such influence does exist, at least indirectly, in my opinion this assertion is quite exaggerated. Since the day when certain members of Henri Lhote's team painted the stunning but totally counterfeit scene of four ladies of the Nile, in all their Egyptian finery (complete with typical snake-diadems), lay people and even quite a large number of researchers have been obsessed with finding Egyptian artistic, cultural and especially religious influence in Saharan art contemporary with Pharaonic times. Yet it seems to me that the ancient Saharan civilizations, being essentially hermetic and persistently resistent to foreign cultural penetration (as are the desert Berbers even today), were in general only superficially touched by religious cults, political practices and social norms from abroad. Their society, like that of the modern Amazigh, was never totally hostile to imported innovations, yet such borrowings seem to have remained mostly in the sphere of personal adornment and apparel. Certainly the "Cleopatra" hairstyle was quite in vogue among the Saharans of the Pastoral period, both female and male. The ancient Saharan ladies were no less fashion conscious than the contemporary Targuia, who delight in colourful imported fabrics, French perfumes and pretty knick-knacks purchased in bazaars far afield. Desert women have always been enthralled by tales of faraway places, and they are fascinated by the exotic. I have seen a photo of a magnificent prehistoric rock incision from Tadrart Acacus, in which a lovely girl is decked out in very Egyptian-looking jewellry.

But how deep does Egyptian and other foreign influence really go in Saharan rock art? I would welcome readers' comments on this theme.

Best wishes,

Tadrart


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