- Museum number
Digital photograph (colour); view of engraved rock art on a rock face (sandstone), showing scene with two therianthropes, a rhino and a jackal (?) head. Right: outlined (polished) therianthrope with canid (jackal?) head upright facing right, legs splayed and bent (running?), arms outstretched and bent, hand to the right side holding stick. Vertical grooves at legs and chest (garment?). Leg to the right cut off by stone breaking. Centre: outlined (polished) therianthrope with canid (jackal?) head upright facing right, legs splayed and bent (running?), arms outstretched and bent, hand to the right side holding stick. Hand to the left grabbing rhino’s foreleg. Vertical grooves at legs and chest (garment?), Stick ended in two curved shapes at waist. Right: rhino upside down, facing right. Over rhino: outlined (polished) head of canid (jackal?). A 10 cm photo scale has been fitted at the bottom of the rock face. Wadi Mathendous, Libya.
- Production date
03 April 2006 (date digitized)
March 1998 (original photograph)
File size: 120 megabytes
Resolution: 300 dots per inch
- Curator's comments
- Close-up of 2013,2034.2722.
The photograph shows one of the most famous engravings in the Wadi Mathendous, interpreted as a hunting scene were two mythical beings hunt and drag a rhino. Other depictions of therianthropes chasing and carrying big animals as aurochs or antelopes are known in the Messak desert, evidently showing the power of these mythical figures who can hunt down even the greatest known beasts.
The engravings are located in Wadi Mathendous, one of the main dry riverbeds on the southern edge of the Messak Plateau in southwest Libya, near the borders between Algeria and Niger. That plateau, which runs southwest-northeast through the Libyan province of Fezzan, is divided in two by the Tilemsin pass, which defines two smaller plateaus (Settafet to the north and Mellet to the south). Throughout these plateaus, numerous dry riverbeds run to the east into Murzuq erg. Rather than a single dry riverbed, Wadi Mathendous can define a wide area which includes the In Habeter (the middle course of Wadi Mathendous) and tributaries as the Wadi Tilizaghen. The valley and its tributaries are full with tens of thousands of rock art engravings –only a few paintings have been located insofar-, mostly depicted in vertical rocks. As a whole, Wadi Mathendous and its surrounding area constitutes the core of the Messak rock art. In this case, the engravings are placed in the Wadi Mathendous itself.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: LIBMES0040091 (TARA number)