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Life on Mars: The Gilf Kebir, Zerzura and the Cave of Swimmers

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posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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An interesting article on an obscure part of Egypt and a window on ancient life in the Sahara


Rising 300m above the desert floor, and covering an area the size of Switzerland, the Gilf Kebir is one of the most arid and inhospitable places in the Sahara. Located in the Egyptian Western Desert, near the Libyan border a 100km north of Sudan, it shares a latitude with Abu Simbel



In Magazine Articles on Egyptological. April 3rd 2012. By Andrea Byrnes




posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 01:49 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 
I enjoyed reading that article, but it's a lot for ATSers to wade through. Here's a synopsis for the tl/dr guys.


It’s a huge plateau in between Egypt and Libya that was used for 100000 years by hunters; with 2000 years of herding ending in 2500bc. Although it’s too harsh for people now, the centuries of hunters have left thousands of artefacts. In some areas (Gilf B), up to 2000 objects can be found per square metre. Stone tools are numbered in their thousands and range from finely-formed arrow points to delicate-looking blades and scrapers.

The area was forgotten about until World War 1 when Allied soldiers heard about a legend of a lost oasis full of great riches. They began to explore the wastes and built up a collection of ordinance maps that are still used today. They discovered the famous ‘Cave of Swimmers’ that was featured in the movie, ‘The English Patient.’
Before the environment became too tough for human habitation, it was full of ostriches, giraffe, sheep and deer. Even today, it’s possible to find old egg-shells on the plateau floor and atop the dunes.

Cave walls and rock surfaces are covered in paintings and carvings. Those in caves are often as fresh as if they were painted yesterday. An interesting mystery has been found in trying to identify these weird-looking animals that look like lions without .s….or jumping bulls?



Maybe the artist just couldn’t get his lions right?

Picture gallery of cave art (including the critters)

As desertification took hold, rains stopped and pastures blew away into sands. By 2500BC, settlement in the area had been abandoned and, with the exception of a few brave groups, the place has remained that way until the 20th Century exploration. NASA have been using the area as a way of understanding how the ancient river systems and features on Mars were formed.



edit on 11-4-2012 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Reaaly got the attention , but then realised it was swimmers not Swimmners...we can only hope the sewing machine ads of the last planetry age warn the future?



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


... and we thank you professor Kandinsky for the summary. While putting the thread up I got pulled away and didn't get to finish my posting, thanks
edit on 11/4/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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Thanks for sharing. I enjoy looking at the old paintings and imagining what those people were like. And seeing the human hand outlines reminds me that we are all one people. The outline of a human body is the same for everybody. If I lived in those times, I would have been the smart ass who did an outline of my foot instead Haha
But im sure painting on the wall was probably only allowed for the high priests and priestesses, and the knowledge of mixing paint was probably kept secret...



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Very great detailed synopsis. Thank you. I do have one thing to add to this mystery. Research the Minoan Crete bull jumpers. The image of the bull in the photo is very similar to those. As well as some of the other figures.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 



To me the closest thing those animals resemble are gorillas.




posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by l33h4rv
 



Forgot to add this. In alot of these photos there are "humans" with what looks like helmets and extra fingers. Also, can someone remind me when the giraffe was "discovered"? Check out photo number 0887. It looks like a giraffe and one of those bull-like creatures are on "leashes".



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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As in the modern world the quality of an artist's skill shows up in the drawing ....



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by jaden_x
 


That is a great thought. I do see a tail on the one creature and not on the gorilla.



posted on Apr, 13 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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reply to post by jaden_x
 


I had a similar idea and was deterred by the lionish tails. The front limbs are badly depicted (bent the wrong way) and yet consisent throughout the paintings. This suggests one individual painted them and, perhaps, hadn't seen the animal they were attempting to portray.

Or maybe they just couldn't *do* lions/baboons/gorillas? In contrast, the other figures are well done which leads back to why they are puzzling. They've left me unable to form more than a suspicion of an explanation.


I could say more but on a mobile fone...



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