Rock Art: Figurative Narratives in a Pastoral Landscape

Throughout the Jebel Qurma region, thousands of images can be found, carved into the Black Desert’s dark basalt stones. These engravings, or petroglyphs, depict an array of zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, and geometric motifs, ranging from wild and domestic animals, such as lions, oryxes, dogs, and camels, to anthropomorphic figures, such as women, swordsmen, and archers. The rock art depicts individual figures as well as narrative scenes, often found in association with Safaitic inscriptions. This PhD project aims to understand the role of rock art in the Black Desert societies, by:

  • Cataloguing and analysing the motifs, styles, patterns, and variations found in the rock art.
  • Studying the relationship between the rock art and the natural and anthropogenic features in the landscape.
  • Analysing the technical production of the petroglyphs and the notion of aesthetics in the rock art.

This PhD research project is being carried out by Nathalie Brusgaard.

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