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The art of rock relief in ancient Arabia: new evidence from the Jawf Province

  • Guillaume Charloux (a1), Hussain al-Khalifah (a2), Thamer al-Malki (a3), Romain Mensan (a4) and Ronald Schwerdtner (a5)...
Abstract

The relative scarcity of ancient Arabian rock reliefs has been a significant barrier to understanding the development, function and socio-cultural context of such art. The recently discovered ‘Camel Site’ in northern Arabia depicts, for the first time, life-sized camelids and equids carved in low- and high-relief. Analysis and stylistic comparison of the art suggest a distinct Arabian tradition, which perhaps drew upon Nabataean and Parthian influences. That this isolated and seemingly uninhabitable site attracted highly skilled rock-carvers is striking testimony to its importance for surrounding populations. Perhaps serving as a boundary marker or a place of veneration, the Camel Site offers important new evidence for the evolution of Arabian rock art.

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*Author for correspondence (Email: guillaume.charloux@cnrs.fr)
References
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