Djara Cave

Djara cave is rather famous, as it is one of the very few well-decorated caves in Egypt. It is located the middle of the Western Desert, on a limestone plateau, next to an old camel track connecting Farafra and Assiut. The cave is easy to visit, many parts have a level floor.

Djara Cave

The quiet and mystical desert, with its bedrock formations fighting the gravity, is interrupted by one of the most beautiful pre-historic sites in the western desert; Djara Cave . The cave contains the only rock-art depictions in a 250 km range, with perfectly preserved scenes of gazelles and other wild animals. The dripstone roof of the cave formed by the crystal depositions during millions of years, adds to the magical beauty of this place. El Farafra Oasis is a quiet and mystical desert, it is known as the White Desert.

Cave art, or rock art in caves, constitutes something special in the Western Desert of Egypt, where most depictions are found in rock shelters. Such enclosed spaces provide further possibilities for the analysis of rock art, apart from the description of panels and figures. The placement, the choice of the bedrock, and space itself are also of interest and infl uenced the prehistoric artist just as well as the cultural background. The dripstone cave of Djara, situated on the Egyptian Limestone Plateau halfway between Asyut in the Nile Valley and the Farafra Oasis, with its rich incised rock art repertoire, affords a good basis for such an analysis. In this article, the results of the rock art documentation, done by the Cologne-based ACACIA-project, are being published for the fi first time in their entirety. Until now, only little was known about the rock art of the northern part of Egypt’s Western Desert, so Djara can contribute another brick to our understanding of the area.

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