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The Rock Art of Northeast Africa: Methodological Achievements and Perspectives of Further Research

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There are two essential points in any rock-art research: time and meaning. The former constitutes the basic precondition for an effective study of the evidence, while the understanding of the latter is the ultimate objective of the research. This paper starts with an overview of the methodological achievements of rock-art research in Northeast Africa concerning the dating and understanding of the original meaning of regional rock art. Subsequently, it focuses on the unintentional significance of rock art and discusses several themes worthy of elaboration but little explored so far. All of them unfold from two simple questions – “where” and “who” – with a view to outreaching from the imagery itself to the people who stood behind it to obtain social and other testimonies on the artists and their worlds – testimonies they themselves might have been unaware of or unwilling to give.Dans les recherches sur l’art rupestre, il y a deux points essentiels : le temps et le sens. Le premier établi la condition fondamentale pour l’étude effective de cet évidence, tandis que la compréhension du sens représente le but définitif de l’étude. Dans cet article, je fais d’abord un abrégé d’exploits méthodologiques dans les recherches sur l’art rupestre de l’Afrique du Nord-est quant à la datation et la compréhension du sens primaire de cet art rupestre régionale. Ensuite je me concentre sur la signification involontaire de l’art rupestre et j’examine quelques thèmes frappants mais quasiment pas explorés dans l’état actuel des recherches. Tous ces thèmes se développent de deux quéstions de base – « où » et « qui » – afin de s’avancer de ces images jusqu’aux communautés qui se trouvent au-delà et d’obtenir un témoignage social ou une autre expression sur les auteurs et leur monde qu’ils eux mêmes ne s’en auraient pas rendu compte ou ne seraient pas capables ou disposés à rendre.This article is in English.

Affiliations: 1: Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Celetná 20, 110 00 Prague 1Czech Republic


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