par Maître, Jonathan;Morel, Vincent;Vanhulle, Dorian
Référence Origins 7. Paris, 19th-23rd September 2022. The 7th International Conference on Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt
Publication Publié, 2022-09-20
Poster de conférence
Résumé : In conjunction with the (re)publishing of the Wadi Hammamat quarries’ Pharaonic inscriptions (dir.: Dr. Annie Gasse), an ongoing related project aims at publishing the figurative rock art scattered in that important Eastern Desert epigraphic sector. This vast material, assembling figurative rock-engravings ranging from Predynastic to Arabic periods, has largely been underexplored to this day. Aside from some early explorers (e.g., Weigall 1909), the first scholar to deeply consider the Wadi Hammamat rock art was F. Debono, who surveyed the Eastern Desert in 1949. During his “expédition archéologique royale,” Debono undertook a large photographic coverage of these figurations—including mainly animals—, most of which had never been studied before; a rich documentation which—while revealing his deep interest for the subject—he never found the time to publish. Now stored at the Institut français d’archéologie orientale in Cairo, the prehistorian’s work is organised as index cards associating both photographs and descriptive or analytical notes. Despite the site’s unequalled epigraphic material, only two contributions give us—if only a partial one—an overview of what is to be found on the quarries’ rock faces (Goyon 1957; Morrow et al. (eds) 2002).Due to its centrality in terms of human dynamics (both in a West-East and North-South axis) and exploitation of mineral resources, the Wadi is a precious laboratory in which to explore the Predynastic and early history of the site and, more broadly, of the central part of the Eastern Desert as a whole. In addition to offering a new holistic edition of the considered material, the project aims to broach broader questions. Studying the engravings in context, from the history of an individual panel to the overall landscape, a variety of approaches—including geomorphology, landscape archaeology, semiology and anthropology—opens new perspectives on what may be considered as graphic and symbolic investments. In order to both exploit and valorise his pioneering efforts to make sense of this rocky imagery, the project also relies on elements of Debono’s to-be-published archives.Focusing on the Predynastic material, the poster will report the project’s renewed methodology and perspectives through several case studies.