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Ancient Rock Art Found In Egypt Sparks Mystery

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(Image Credit: Photo by Salima Ikram, North Kharga Oasis Survey, cropped by Owen Jarus.)

Archaeologists have found a panel containing the only known form of ‘spider rock art’ in Egypt, or in the entire old world for that matter.

The panel which is now in two pieces, was discovered on the west wall of a shallow sandstone wadi/valley, in the Kharga Oasis located in Egypt’s Western Desert, approximately 108 miles west from Luxor.

The panel, which faces east and is illuminated by the rising morning sun, is an extremely unusual discovery, according to Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor from the American University in Cairo, and is the co-director of the Kharga Oasis Survey Project.

The date of the art is still uncertain, as is the tentative identification of the creatures as spiders. Based on other activity in the area however, the unusual art may date back to 4,000 B.C. or possibly even earlier, putting it well into prehistoric times.

The main panel depicts what appears to be a few spiders and a star, possibly meant to represent a web, next to the spider on the far left. Comb like drawings are also present, which are even more mysterious – which could, according to Ikram, represent insects being trapped by the spiders, or silken tubes spun by the spiders.

Archaeologists are left scratching their head over the discovery – why did the people in the Kharga Oasis create rock art of spiders, especially when there are no known other examples in Egypt, or the entire old world for that matter?

Read the entire article here at LiveScience.