A tourist in Egypt discovered neolithic rock art dating to before the construction of the pyramids, approximately 6,000 – 7,000 years ago.
The site dubbed “Boats Arch” due to the shape of the shallow cave the rock art was found in, is located in Farafra, about 600km from Cairo. It’s pretty much smack-bang in the middle of the desert, and was lucky to be found by the tourist.
It’s also pretty close to another rock art site called Wadi el Obeiyid Cave, where rock art was first documented in the region in 1995. The Boats Arch site contains art of a giraffe, a cow, two boats and the outline of a hand.
This is an exciting find for the region as it suggests that ancient Egyptians got their cultural influence from Africa and not the Middle East. This is also one of the oldest artistic discoveries in the region.
Seeing as rock art is difficult to date, the archaeologists suggest that due to the regrowth of calcium calcite crystals, that the art is approximately 6000/5,500 years old, or possible even older.