Collection online

digital photograph

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2013,2034.6373

  • Description

    Digital photograph (colour); view of painted rock art on a rock face, showing a rider on a horse, a cow and a squared shape. The cow is infilled in red and depicted upright facing right. Pastoral Period. Superimposed to the cow there is a rider on a horse infilled in white, with both hands holding (sticks? swords?), the hand to the left holding the reins, saddle and the harness are depicted. Camel Period. Under the horse there is a red grid-style shape. Ennedi Plateau, Chad.
    Scanned

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  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 24 April 2006 (date digitized)
    • November 1996 (original photograph)
  • Production place

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • File size: 119 megabytes
    • Resolution: 300 dots per inch
  • Curator's comments

    See 2013,2034.6373 for details.

    The image shows figures from two different periods, the red ones being ascribed to the Pastoral style while the much more schematic horse and rider belong to the last stages of the rock art tradition in the Ennedi Plateau.

    The site is named as the Horned Head Shelter in TARA records, although there are no academic evidences that this is its actual name. It is placed relatively near CHAENP028.

    The Ennedi Plateau is located at the north-eastern corner of Chad, on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. It is a sandstone massif carved by erosion in a series of superimposed terraces, alternating plains and ragged cliffs crossed by seasonal rivers (wadis). Unlike other areas in the Sahara with rock art engravings or paintings, the Ennedi Plateau receives rain regularly –if scarce- during the summer, and thus it is a more benign environment to human life that other areas placed to the north, as the Messak plateau, the Tassili or the Tibesti Mountains. However, its position far from the main trade routes made its rock art being unknown to Europe until the 1930’s, when Burthe d’Annelet gave notice of them and De Saint-Floris published the first paper on the subject. The main effort to document this rock art came in 1956-1957 when Gerard Bailloud documented more than 500 rock art sites within an area of just one sixth of the entire plateau.

    The depictions in the Ennedi Plateau can be broadly organized in the same periods and styles of the rest of Saharan rock art areas. Therefore, three main periods have been documented: the so-called archaic period –representing wild animals-, the bovine period (which has domestic cattle as the predominant animal) and a third, late period named the dromedary or camel period. However, there are several slight regional differences with respect to other Saharan regions. The first one is the absence of differentiated Horse and Camel periods: in the Ennedi depictions both animals appear together, and thus they are included in a generic dromedary period (although horses were introduced earlier than dromedaries in the Sahara). Secondly, the oldest engravings in the Ennedi plateau are much more modern than those to the north, starting to appear at the 5th-4th millennia BC. Finally, the numerous cliffs and gorges at the Ennedi plateau house depictions of numerous local styles, sometimes contemporary to others, sometimes corresponding to successive periods. That variability means an enormous richness of techniques, themes and artistic conventions, with some of the most original depictions in Saharan rock art. Paintings are dominant in the sample, although engravings are relatively common in the area.

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  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2013

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    2013,2034.6373

  • Additional IDs

    • CHAENP0040015 (TARA number)
Digital photograph (colour); view of painted rock art on a rock face, showing a rider on a horse, a cow and a squared shape. Top centre: infilled (red) cow upright facing right. Pastoral Period. Superimposed to cows: infilled (white) rider on a horse, hand to the right holding stick? sword?, hand to the left holding reins and stick? Saddle and harnesses? depicted. Camel Period. Under horse: red grid-style shape. Lower left: infilled (red) human figure upright facing front, arms outstretched down. Ennedi Plateau, Chad.  Scanned

Digital photograph (colour); view of painted rock art on a rock face, showing a rider on a horse, a cow and a squared shape. Top centre: infilled (red) cow upright facing right. Pastoral Period. Superimposed to cows: infilled (white) rider on a horse, hand to the right holding stick? sword?, hand to the left holding reins and stick? Saddle and harnesses? depicted. Camel Period. Under horse: red grid-style shape. Lower left: infilled (red) human figure upright facing front, arms outstretched down. Ennedi Plateau, Chad. Scanned

Reproduced by permission of the artist. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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Object reference number: EAF144924

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