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Sinai rock drawings and inscriptions

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  • Brian Colless
    These days, because of my blog (though my blog receives much more attention), people are sending me inscriptions to decipher . Two
    Message 1 of 4 , May 7, 2009
      These days, because of my <cryptcracker> blog (though my <operawonk>
      blog receives much more attention), people are sending me inscriptions
      to 'decipher'. Two of them are from Sinai or its environs.

      [1] One is from a site between Serabit el-Khadim and Timna, and it is
      possibly another case of the formula marking the copper-melting
      furnace: Dh KBShN ("This is the furnace"), but the photographs I have
      been given are not clear enough for confidence; and it is high up and
      difficult to reach, whereas the Sinai KBShN MSh ('melt-furnace')
      inscriptions are right near the equipment they announce.

      [2] Another is located somewhere between Serabit and Sharm el-Sheikh,
      but I think it is only a rock-drawing, with no inscription:

      http://i556.photobucket.com/albums/ss9/tazzio244/gio019-1.jpg

      This is like the engravings that Beno Rothenberg shows in TIMNAH :
      Valley of the Biblical Copper Mines (119-124: Votive rock-drawings in
      the Timna copper mines); they have ibex, gazelle, and ostrich figures;
      there are also a few interesting inscriptions, West Semitic, Ramesside
      period.

      My eldest son once sent me ( amongst photocopies of articles on proto-
      alphabetic inscriptions, which he was gathering for me in the Sydney
      University library) an article on 'Desert Kites'. The mysterious word
      'kite' seems to mean 'corra[a]l', for capturing animals.

      Anyway, does anyone recognize the site in this picture, or see
      anything interesting in it, including any writing?

      Brian Colless
      Massey University, NZ
    • Trudy Kawami
      The general term for these kinds of images is petroglyphs. They are well documented throughout Western & Central Asia (& parts of North America and South
      Message 2 of 4 , May 7, 2009
        The general term for these kinds of images is "petroglyphs." They are
        well documented throughout Western & Central Asia (& parts of North
        America and South Africa) and are associated with nomadic hunters and
        pastoralists. Recent work further associates them with various forms of
        shamanism, vision quests, and related spiritual activities. They appear
        to have functioned in a totally different way from inscrptions, that is
        writing. The petroglyphs occur only on certain types of limestone and
        are produced by "pecking", that is pounding the rock surface to destroy
        the patina and expose the lighter-colored stone beneath. There is also a
        difference in texture between the rock face and the pecked areas that
        can affect the appearance of the petroglyphs in different lighting
        conditions. The rock patina takes many thousands of years to produce and
        the petroglyphs remain visible for thousands as well.

        "Drawings" & "engravings" have very specific meanings and the terms do
        not apply here.

        Trudy Kawami



        ________________________________

        From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        Brian Colless
        Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 8:42 AM
        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [ANE-2] Sinai rock drawings and inscriptions


        These days, because of my <cryptcracker> blog (though my <operawonk>
        blog receives much more attention), people are sending me inscriptions
        to 'decipher'. Two of them are from Sinai or its environs.
        <SNIP>

        [2] Another is located somewhere between Serabit and Sharm el-Sheikh,
        but I think it is only a rock-drawing, with no inscription:
        http://i556.photobucket.com/albums/ss9/tazzio244/gio019-1.jpg
        <http://i556.photobucket.com/albums/ss9/tazzio244/gio019-1.jpg>
        This is like the engravings that Beno Rothenberg shows in TIMNAH :
        Valley of the Biblical Copper Mines (119-124: Votive rock-drawings in
        the Timna copper mines); they have ibex, gazelle, and ostrich figures;
        there are also a few interesting inscriptions, West Semitic, Ramesside
        period.
        <SNIP>

        Anyway, does anyone recognize the site in this picture, or see anything
        interesting in it, including any writing?
        Brian Colless
        Massey University, NZ





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Hall
        Some volumes of published rock inscriptions including from Sinai: Main Title: Rock inscriptions and graffiti project : catalogue of inscriptions / edited by
        Message 3 of 4 , May 7, 2009
          Some volumes of published rock inscriptions including from Sinai:

          Main Title:
          Rock inscriptions and graffiti project : catalogue of inscriptions / edited by Michael E. Stone ; editorial assistant, Leslie Avital Kobayashi.

          Published/Created:
          Atlanta : Scholars Press, c1992-c1994.

          Related Names:
          Stone, Michael E., 1938-

          Description:
          3 v. : maps ; 24 cm.

          ISBN:
          1555407900 (v. 1 : alk. paper)
          1555407919 (v. 1 : pbk. : alk. paper)
          1555407927 (v. 2 : alk. paper)
          1555407935 (v. 2 : pbk. : alk. paper)
          1555409458 (v. 3 : alk. paper)
          1555409466 (v. 3 : pbk. : alk. paper)

          Contents:
          v. 1. Inscriptions 1-3000 -- v. 2. Inscriptions 3001-6000 -- v. 3. Inscriptions 6001-8500.

          Notes:
          Includes bibliographical references (v. 1, p. 13-14) and indexes.

          Subjects:
          Bible --Antiquities --Catalogs.
          Inscriptions --Palestine --Catalogs.
          Inscriptions --Egypt --Sinai --Catalogs.
          Graffiti --Palestine --Catalogs.
          Graffiti --Egypt --Sinai --Catalogs.
          Palestine --Antiquities --Catalogs.
          Sinai (Egypt) --Antiquities --Catalogs.

          David Q. Hall
          dqhall59@...


          --- On Thu, 5/7/09, Brian Colless <briancolless@...> wrote:

          From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
          Subject: [ANE-2] Sinai rock drawings and inscriptions
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 8:41 AM









          These days, because of my <cryptcracker> blog (though my <operawonk>
          blog receives much more attention), people are sending me inscriptions
          to 'decipher'. Two of them are from Sinai or its environs.

          [1] One is from a site between Serabit el-Khadim and Timna, and it is
          possibly another case of the formula marking the copper-melting
          furnace: Dh KBShN ("This is the furnace"), but the photographs I have
          been given are not clear enough for confidence; and it is high up and
          difficult to reach, whereas the Sinai KBShN MSh ('melt-furnace' )
          inscriptions are right near the equipment they announce.

          [2] Another is located somewhere between Serabit and Sharm el-Sheikh,
          but I think it is only a rock-drawing, with no inscription:

          http://i556. photobucket. com/albums/ ss9/tazzio244/ gio019-1. jpg

          This is like the engravings that Beno Rothenberg shows in TIMNAH :
          Valley of the Biblical Copper Mines (119-124: Votive rock-drawings in
          the Timna copper mines); they have ibex, gazelle, and ostrich figures;
          there are also a few interesting inscriptions, West Semitic, Ramesside
          period.

          My eldest son once sent me ( amongst photocopies of articles on proto-
          alphabetic inscriptions, which he was gathering for me in the Sydney
          University library) an article on 'Desert Kites'. The mysterious word
          'kite' seems to mean 'corra[a]l', for capturing animals.

          Anyway, does anyone recognize the site in this picture, or see
          anything interesting in it, including any writing?

          Brian Colless
          Massey University, NZ
        • Brian Colless
          Trudy, thank you for your helpful response. I am assuming that you are talking about the photograph of the rock-face between Serabit and Sharm el-Sheikh. The
          Message 4 of 4 , May 7, 2009
            Trudy, thank you for your helpful response. I am assuming that you are
            talking about the photograph of the rock-face between Serabit and
            Sharm el-Sheikh.

            The other two, from Timna Mine 25, are described as 'engraving 1 and
            2' by Rothenberg; the second is incised into the rock with a sharp
            point, he says, and many of its lines were filled in with red and
            white colour, and he had never known anything like it in his life,
            except in Egyptian wall-paintings; it includes Egyptian chariots.

            On 8/05/2009, at 3:37 AM, Trudy Kawami wrote:

            <The general term for these kinds of images is "petroglyphs." >
            This is the first word that came into my head, but I thought it only
            applied to a single character, not a complete picture.

            <They are
            well documented throughout Western & Central Asia (& parts of North
            America and South Africa) and are associated with nomadic hunters and
            pastoralists. Recent work further associates them with various forms of
            shamanism, vision quests, and related spiritual activities.>

            In southern Africa the artists were under the influence of
            hallucinogens (I once heard)?

            And the hunters sat there looking at the picture-show expecting that
            by magic the things portrayed in the images would take place
            successfully when they went outside?

            *** What about the 'kites' I mentioned, associated with pictures/
            petroglyphs?***

            < They appear
            to have functioned in a totally different way from inscrptions, that is
            writing. The petroglyphs occur only on certain types of limestone and
            are produced by "pecking", that is pounding the rock surface to destroy
            the patina and expose the lighter-colored stone beneath. There is also a
            difference in texture between the rock face and the pecked areas that
            can affect the appearance of the petroglyphs in different lighting
            conditions. The rock patina takes many thousands of years to produce and
            the petroglyphs remain visible for thousands as well.>

            <"Drawings" >
            I used that word non-technically

            <& "engravings" >
            Rothenberg's drawing (!) of the picture (his word) of 'engraving 2'
            has a legend indicating: carved, carved & red, carved & grey, pecked,
            engraved, red colour only.

            <have very specific meanings and the terms do not apply here>.

            But Beno's careful distinctions have validity?

            Brian Colless

            It is our 50th wedding anniversary here (Friday) but we are having the
            celebrations tomorrow.

            >
            > ________________________________
            >
            > From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            > Of
            > Brian Colless
            > Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 8:42 AM
            > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [ANE-2] Sinai rock drawings and inscriptions
            >
            > These days, because of my <cryptcracker> blog (though my <operawonk>
            > blog receives much more attention), people are sending me inscriptions
            > to 'decipher'. Two of them are from Sinai or its environs.
            > <SNIP>
            >
            > [2] Another is located somewhere between Serabit and Sharm el-Sheikh,
            > but I think it is only a rock-drawing, with no inscription:
            > http://i556.photobucket.com/albums/ss9/tazzio244/gio019-1.jpg
            > <http://i556.photobucket.com/albums/ss9/tazzio244/gio019-1.jpg>
            > This is like the engravings that Beno Rothenberg shows in TIMNAH :
            > Valley of the Biblical Copper Mines (119-124: Votive rock-drawings in
            > the Timna copper mines); they have ibex, gazelle, and ostrich figures;
            > there are also a few interesting inscriptions, West Semitic, Ramesside
            > period.
            > <SNIP>
            >
            > Anyway, does anyone recognize the site in this picture, or see
            > anything
            > interesting in it, including any writing?
            > Brian Colless
            > Massey University, NZ
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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