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remains of architecture?

 
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jan - 23:10 (2016)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

Dear colleagues,
during our exploration of prehistoric occupation at Jebel Sabaloka (Sixth Nile Cataract) in central Sudan, we have encountered at several sites the presence of holes at certain convenient places of the local granite rocks. The measuring of these holes at one of the sites last November brought to light quite consistent (as if standardized) data of the holes as to their width, inclination, and depth. In this (and some other) respect(s), the holes differ from those used by birds as nests.
Below, you can see three photographs of the holes, with "holes_1..." showing some wooden sticks inserted by us in order to see the direction of the boring.
We tend to interpret these holes as evidence of light architecture (shelters) created of branches inserted into these holes at these places. So far, we know of no such occurrences from the Sudan (as conirmed also by our Sudanese colleagues), which makes it more difficult to interpret the findings as well as to date them.
Has anyone of you seen holes of this (or similar) type elsewhere in (north) Africa?
We will greatly appreciate your opinion or any reference in this respect.
With best wishes,
Lenka Varadzinova Sukova
Sabaloka Project Director
Czech Institute of Egyptology, Prague









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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jan - 23:10 (2016)    Post subject: Publicité

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andrasz


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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar - 08:09 (2016)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

Dear Lenka,

I was thinking long and hard for some time now where I saw something similar, it finally clicked. There are almost identical holes in similar granite rock at one locality upstream in the main valley of Jebel Arkenu. I remember on first sight I was convinced they were man-made, but on close scrutiny we have come to the conclusion that they must be natural, there was no indication that the holes were worked. There is another rock at Uweinat on the way up to the Emeri highland (we saw it together) which has a mysterious small bore hole go right through it, which again we concluded is likely natural.

Unfortunately now I do not have any photos of the Arkenu site with me, but I think I do have an old slide taken, will check and scan for you when I can.

I have also seen larger but otherwise similar holes in granite at some localities at the upper Brandberg in Namibia:
http://www.fjexpeditions.com/expeditions/past/namibia15/P1293.jpg
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar - 13:19 (2016)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

Dear Andras,
thank you for your suggestions. I have gone through all my photos from Uweinat and Arkenu, and found no holes similar to the Sabaloka ones. I will be glad if you find the old slide.
All the best and safe travels!
Lenka
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Ursula


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PostPosted: Sat 2 Apr - 16:02 (2016)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

„Has anyone of you seen holes of this (or similar) type elsewhere in (north) Africa?“

Dear Lenka

I have seen similar holes still in use by nomads in Algeria and Chad,
they hung various household items on the wooden sticks - here in Ennedi



holes of the same size as yours in a cave together with hooks – Gilf Kebir





oval holes interpreted as ladders – Gilf Kebir





big square holes from Djedefre's Watermountain



There is no doubt that these are all man made. The number of holes and the distribution/arrangement
of the holes on your pictures are different. In the background of the 2nd picture there is a nice example of tafoni.

All the best
Ursula


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Apr - 11:47 (2016)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

Dear Ursula,
thank you very much for your comments and photographs!
With best wishes,
Lenka Varadzinová
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tadrart


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PostPosted: Sat 1 Apr - 12:09 (2017)    Post subject: drilling holes as a ritual practice Reply with quote

Very Happy Dear Lenka,

Round holes of various size and depth, drilled by stone tools or produced by constant abrasion, are extremely common where petroglyphs and other forms of prehistoric parietal art are found. They are usually called cup holes, and may be found in isolation, pairs or groups. They are man-made (cupholes produced by natural causes are rougher and more irregular), and frequently appear in sequences which may well have a ritual significance. The most famous are found in Valcamonica (Lombardy, Italy); there are many thousands of these, drilled painstakingly into rock faces. Often they present precise patterns which resemble constellations. There is evidence that, in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, these holes were filled with oil and lit up at night, in order to ritually reproduce on Earth the splendour of the constellations in the heavens.

Also in the depths of the Sahara (at Tadrart Acacus , Libya, for example),  numerous cupholes have been discovered. The purpose of these Saharan holes is less evident than in the case of Valcamonica.


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PostPosted: Sat 1 Apr - 12:17 (2017)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

Very Happy
Hello again Lenka,

A post script: in certain locations of the Sahara, in prehistoric rock art, single holes were sometimes drilled into petroglyphs representing females, in order to indicate their gender.

I'll try to send you some links for this practice, and for the Valcamonica cupholes.

Best wishes,

Tadrart


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Ursula


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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr - 10:18 (2017)    Post subject: Man made holes in Chad Reply with quote

Chad Tibesti South – Emi Koussi West

Dear Lenka
How are you going on with your article describing the characteristics and discussing the function
of the holes ?

I was thinking of you at the foot of the remarkable site « Kla Uenama » when I saw these man
made holes, a little bigger than yours from the Jebel Sabaloka





All the best
Ursula


Last edited by Ursula on Mon 24 Apr - 16:43 (2017); edited 1 time in total
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tadrart


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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr - 14:28 (2017)    Post subject: eyes? Reply with quote

Smile Hello Ursula,

Looking at the top photo which you sent to Lenka, at that angle the natural rock structure seems almost to reveal a human face...The person who drilled the two holes into it probably wanted to indicate eyes!

Prehistoric sculptors often found rocks which had vague anthropomorphic or theromorphic features...They delighted in "improving" on these natural pseudo-artistic forms, adding heads, legs, etc.

This practice was quite common in the European Paleolithic period. I haven't seen so many examples of it in Neolithic Saharan rock art.

Best regards,

Tadrart


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Ursula


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PostPosted: Mon 24 Apr - 10:31 (2017)    Post subject: remains of architecture? Reply with quote

Ursula wrote:
Chad Tibesti South – Emi Koussi West

Dear Lenka
How are you going on with your article describing the characteristics and discussing the function
of the holes ?

I was thinking of you at the foot of the remarkable site « Kla Uenama » when I saw these man
made holes, a little bigger than yours from the Jebel Sabaloka





All the best
Ursula


Having a closer look at the Djedefres Water Mountain in the Western Desert today I found some more holes!









Best
Ursula


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