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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 
The so-called ‘fighting cats’ engraving

The so-called ‘fighting cats’ engraving, which also depicts four ostriches, from the Messak Plateau in Libya. 2013,2034.2761 © TARA/David Coulson

Three figures and a giraffe

San rock painting of white giraffe and human fgiures, Brandberg, Namibia. (Not yet catalogued) © TARA/David Coulson

Hand Wadi el Obeiyd

Hand painted on a limestone cave wall at Wadi el Obeiyd, Egypt. 2013,2034.122 © TARA/David Coulson

Tadrart tableau

Painted rock art from Tin Anneouin, Wadi Teshuinat, Acacus Mountains, Fezzan District, Libya. 2013,2034.376 © TARA/David Coulson

Cow Karkur tahl

Detail of engraved rock art of a cow from Karkur tahl, Jebel Uweinat, Sudan. 2013,2034.259 © TARA/David Coulson

Karkur tahl tableau

Painted rock art from Karkur tahl, Jebel Uweinat, Sudan. 2013,2034.6 © TARA/David Coulson


Follow our digital journey across Africa
Discover 30,000 years of rock art

In 2013, the African rock art image project team began cataloguing around 25,000 digital photographs of rock art from across Africa – originally from the Trust for African Rock Art (TARA) – through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.

Africa’s rock art is as diverse as the continent itself. By combining a wide range of research from the Museum, TARA and colleagues in Africa, this project will catalogue, preserve and ensure open access to African rock art, for future generations worldwide.

On these pages, you can explore the images catalogued so far by country and learn more about them through a series of articles.

You can also find answers to some key questions about African rock art:


Explore by country

Northern / Saharan Africa

Eastern and central Africa

  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Somalia
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania

Southern Africa

  • Angola
  • Malawi
  • Namibia
  • Botswana
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Africa

Our latest articles

Featured sites

Jebel Uweinat

Jebel Uweinat, Sudan

Jebel Uweinat – one of Sudan’s most important areas for rock art – is dominated by images of cattle, but also includes depictions of humans and other animals.

Read the article 

Crying Cows

Crying Cows, Algeria

These engravings are highly skilled depictions of cattle that seem to be bending their heads to drink, and also to have tears rolling down their faces.

Read the article 

Oukaïmeden, Morocco

Oukaïmeden, Morocco

Oukaïmeden is home to one of the most impressive collections of rock art engravings in Morocco, with about 1,000 depictions throughout this alpine-like valley.

Read the article 

Fighting cats

Fighting cats, Libya

Deep in the Messak Settafet is a site that has intrigued researchers for decades: the so-called ‘Fighting Cats’ scene.

Read the article 


Wadi Sura: the Cave of Swimmers

Cave of Swimmers, Egypt

This is one of the most famous rock art sites of the Sahara, named due to the human figures painted on its walls, with their limbs contorted as if swimming.

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Themes

Chariots in the Sahara

Chariots in the Sahara

Several sites we recently catalogued in the Fezzan region of the Libyan Desert have included paintings of chariots in a variety of forms, from up to 3,000 years ago.

Read the article 

Acacus hairwashing scene

Hairdressing in the Acacus

The significance of hair in African societies is reflected in a fascinating set of images from the Acacus Mountains in south-western Libya

Read the article 


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