Sponsored by: ARCE-PA
Since 2001 the North Kharga Oasis-Darb Ain Amur Survey team has been exploring the sandy routes connecting Kharga oasis to Dakhla oasis and beyond. In the course of this survey, our team has discovered and recorded numerous lonely rock sites that were used in antiquity as camping spots and stopovers for desert travelers. The epigraphic materials from these sites provide us with valuable information about the ancient uses of these desert routes, traveling practices, as well as the identity and background of the ancient travelers who chose to carve their marks on sandstone rocks.
In this lecture, I will present the results of our ongoing epigraphic work at a number of rocks whose surfaces were used by ancient travelers for the carving of both figural and textual graffiti. These sites and their epigraphic findings will be used as a case study to illustrate ancient Egyptian graffiti’ complex network of connections to epigraphic materials from other sites, to Egyptian history and culture, as well as to the natural landscape of the Western Desert.