The Prehistoric rock art of Morocco.

Searight, S., 2001. The Prehistoric rock art of Morocco. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

This study aims to examine all aspects of Moroccan rock art and place it in an archaeological and environmental context. Almost 300 sites are now known but few have been studied fully. This work is the first overall analysis to be attempted. Data on climatic changes during the Holocene period, together with archaeological and faunal reports, provided the necessary background to the rock art. The distribution of engraved and painted sites in Morocco is very uneven. Animals were the most frequent themes, but a review of all the sites revealed great site and subject diversity. Four main types of engravings were Identified, their Characteristics described and their distribution plotted. Climatic fluctuations, new animal species, the introduction of meth weapons, the chariot and writing established a chronological framework. A critical appraisal of these events led to a tentative chronology for Moroccan rock art, thought here to have started around 2500 be. The situation of rock art sites showed that they were chosen for very specific reasons, some of them by nomadic pastoralists. Viewing rock art as a medium of communication, it was proposed that the images were messages defining territories, proclaiming ownership or commemorating heroes or battles. The images may have two levels of meaning: one easily understood by members of the group and by outsiders, the second, symbolic, less obviously comprehensible. Moroccan rock art was not an isolated phenomenon in north Africa. The rock art of Algeria, Libya and Mauritania showed both similarities and differences, IrnpMng a cultural link, albeit tenuous, between these countries. Available archaeological, environmental and rock art data revealed striking differences In information-availability between north and south Morocco. Archaeological research has established a chronologicaal nd cultural framework, in northern Morocco,to which rock art adds nothing. On the other hand, rock engravings of metal weapons are almost the only evidence of a Moroccan Bronze Age. In southern Morocco, the distribution of rock art sites reveals intensive human activity in an area little known from excavation. Rock art, archaeology and environment are thus related in this study to producea comprehensive picture of the past.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctorate)
Additional Information:Ph.D. - Bournemouth University, Poole, 2001. If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:History > Archaeology
Group:UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:381
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:07 Nov 2006
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 14:34

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