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digital photograph

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2013,2034.6451

  • Description

    Digital photograph (colour); detail of painted rock art on a rock face showing an infilled (red) rider on a white camel, depicted upright facing left, with the hand to the left holding spear and the hand to the right holding stick. The figure has a dagger crossed through his arm to the right. A red curved line comes out of the head (hairdress? feather?). The saddle, harnesses and reins are painted in red. Camel Period. 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: 120 megabytes
    • Resolution: 300 dots per inch
  • Curator's comments

    Close-up of 2013,2034.6453.
    The figure is a good example of rider on camel characteristic of the first depictions of the Camel period in the Ennedi plateau.

    The place is named "Two Cheeta" in TARA records, but this is just a descriptive name to identify it and there is no evidence that this is its actual name.

    This 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

    2013,2034.6451

  • Additional IDs

    • CHAENP0060010 (TARA number)
Digital photograph (colour); detail of painted rock art on a rock face showing an  infilled (red) rider upright facing front, hand to the left holding spear, hand to the right holding stick. Dagger crossed through arm to the left. Saddle, harnesses and reins painted in red. Infilled red and white circular shape to the right of the rider (shield? Bag?) Infilled (white) camel upright facing left. Camel Period. A 10 cm photo scale has been fitted at the centre of the tableau. Ennedi Plateau, Chad.  Scanned

Digital photograph (colour); detail of painted rock art on a rock face showing an infilled (red) rider upright facing front, hand to the left holding spear, hand to the right holding stick. Dagger crossed through arm to the left. Saddle, harnesses and reins painted in red. Infilled red and white circular shape to the right of the rider (shield? Bag?) Infilled (white) camel upright facing left. Camel Period. A 10 cm photo scale has been fitted at the centre of the tableau. Ennedi Plateau, Chad. Scanned

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

Image description

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Object reference number: EAF145557

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