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Spider art dating back to 4000 BC found in Egypt

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

New York: Scientists have discovered a one-of-its-kind spider rock art, dating back to 4,000 BC, in an Egyptian valley.

Archaeologists found a broken rock panel that depicts possibly the only known example of spider rock art in the entire Old World, researchers said.

The panel, now in two pieces, on the west wall of a shallow sandstone valley, in the Kharga Oasis, is located in Egypt's western desert about 175 kilometres west of Luxor.

Researchers said the rock art may date to about 4000 BC or earlier, which would put it well into prehistoric times, before Egypt was unified, said Ikram, 'LiveScience' reported. Facing east, and illuminated by the morning sun, the panel is a "very unusual" find, said Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo who co-directs the North Kharga Oasis Survey Project.

Ikram said the identification of the creatures as spiders is tentative and the date of it uncertain. The main panel shows what appear to be a few spiders, with a "star" that is possibly meant to depict a web next to the spider on the far left, the report said.

Ikram said there are also comb-like drawings that are more enigmatic, adding they could be insects being trapped by the spiders, plants or even silken tubes spun by the spiders. A piece of rock that appears to have been broken off the main panel depicts creatures drawn in a different style, their limbs not flexed, but rather have a flat appearance.

The finding was published in the journal Sahara.


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