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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 2 (1) 2004

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M. v. Czerniewicz, T. Lenssen-Erz & J. Linstädter

Preliminary investigations in the Djebel Uweinat region, Libyan Desert

Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 2 (1), 2004, pages 81-96, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10020

Abstract
Over the last hundred years the Djebel Uweinat was the objective of several expeditions, most of them being driven by the intention to find new rock art sites. These explorers mostly stayed at the base of the mountain where the majority of the currently known rock art sites were found. During their two recent visits, the members of the ACACIA team focused their interest on the upper part of the Uweinat and on its smaller, mostly neglected neighbouring mountain, the Djebel Arkenu.

In the upper part of the Djebel Uweinat artefacts and some stone arrangements were found. While no rock art sites were spotted in the upper part, we discuss the function of stone arrangements and rock art from the lower reaches in view of the semiotic processes in which they may have operated. The presentation of the rock art sites found at Djebel Arkenu will also be fitted into an overview of how we interpret the cognitive map of people who used to live in the environment of the two mountains. Furthermore, some background information concerning the landmarking function of the archaeological finds is given which could be a useful indicator of the character of mobility as well as of perception of landscape among prehistoric people.

Résumé
Au cours des deux derniers siècles, le massif du Djebel Uweinat a fait l'objet de plusieurs expéditions, dont la plupart avait pour but la découverte de nouveaux sites d'art rupestre. Ces explorateurs s'étaient jusqu'alors essentiellement limités au pied des reliefs, là où se trouvent d'ailleurs la majeure partie des sites rupestres connus actuellement. Lors de leurs deux dernières visites, les membres de l'équipe ACACIA ont concentré leurs efforts sur la partie supérieure du Djebel Uweinat ainsi que sur un petit massif montagneux voisin souvent négligé, le Djebel Arkenu.

Dans la partie haute du Djebel Uweinat, des artefacts et des structures de pierres ont été découverts alors que les sites rupestres n'ont été localisés que dans la partie basse du massif. Nous avons donc été amenés à envisager la fonction de ces empierrements et les différences de localisation des types des sites en tenant compte des processus sémiotiques dans lesquels ils ont pu opérer. Ainsi, nous plaçons les sites d'art rupestre du Djebel Arkenu dans le contexte de la carte cognitive que nous avons élaborée pour une population préhistorique qui aurait vécu aux alentours des deux montagnes. En outre, nous nous intéressons au rôle de jalons qu'ont pu remplir les vestiges archéologiques dans le paysage, ce qui peut constituer un indicateur utile du caractère de mobilité aussi bien que de la perception de l'environnement des peuples préhistoriques.





Keywords: landscape, Libya, pottery, rock art, semiotic processes, stone structures


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Sonja Magnavita, Peter Breunig, Sam Nixon

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Jonathan R. Walz, USA

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Graham Connah, Australia
Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
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Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
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Savino di Lernia, Italy
Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Belgium
Scott MacEachern, USA
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Susan Keech McIntosh, USA
David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
Peter Robertshaw, USA
Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

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Annabelle Gallin, France
Richard Byer, Germany

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