Oldest rock art in Egypt discovered

The Qurta I site is situated along a small canal. The scaffolding high up the hillslope indicates the location of the main rock art panel (© RMAH, Brussels)
Wooden scaffolding constructed in February 2007 to allow access to the rock art at the Qurta I site. The northern edge of the Kom Ombo Plain with the village of Qurta is in the background. The Nile runs right behind the large hill in the far distance (© RMAH, Brussels)
Wooden scaffolding constructed in March 2008 to reach the rock art at the Qurta I site. The Nubian sandstone scarp to the left of this location has been quarried away (© RMAH, Brussels)
Wooden scaffolding constructed in March 2008 to reach the rock art at the Qurta I site. The Kom Ombo Plain is in the background (© RMAH, Brussels)
Belgian archaeologist Wouter Claes poses with a panel with wild bovids (Bos primigenius or aurochs) at the Qurta II site. (© RMAH, Brussels)
American archaeologist Elyssa Figari recording rock art at the Qurta I site. The panel contains 33 images, including 25 wild bovids and a stylized human figure (© RMAH, Brussels)
Detail of the main rock art panel at the Qurta I site, showing how the makers of the rock art used the relief of the rock surface to lend volume and movement to the animal images (© RMAH, Brussels)
Detail of the main rock art panel at the Qurta I site, showing several wild bovids (Bos primigenius or aurochs) and a stylized human figure with outstretched arms (center below) (© RMAH, Brussels)
Detail of the main rock art panel at the Qurta I site, showing how the makers of the rock art made use of the relief of the rock surface to lend volume and movement to the animal images (© RMAH, Brussels)
Detail of a rock art panel at the Qurta II site, showing two drawings of wild bovids (Bos primigenius or aurochs) with forward pointing horns. The double belly line of the right specimen is typical of the Qurta II bovids (© RMAH, Brussels)
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Using a new technology known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), a team of Belgian scientists and Professor John Coleman Darnell of Yale have determined that Egyptian petroglyphs found at the east bank of the Nile are about 15,000 years old, making them the oldest rock art in Egypt and possibly the earliest known graphic record in North Africa.
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