The Cave Art of Djara Cave

Project completed.

Roughly halfway between Asyut (in the Nile Valley) and the Farafra Oasis, on the Egyptian limestone plateau (also known as the Abu Muharik Plateau, after the dune system of the same name), lies Djara Cave with its rock art. The cave was first discovered in 1873 by the German adventurer and explorer Gerard Rohlfs during a research expedition into the Libyan Desert. As he crossed the limestone plateau on the way from Asyut to the Farafra Oasis, the Egyptian caravan leaders brought his attention to the cave and a bir (Arabic: well) not far from the caravan route. In the report of his travels, published in 1875 and including a map with his route precisely marked and descriptions of the places he had visited, the cave was named "Djara". Rohlfs added the remark "floor strewn with flint fragments". In the West, however, the cave was soon forgotten. It wasn't until 1989 that Carlo Bergmann, the desert explorer from Cologne, found the cave once more. Bergmann reported Neolithic artefacts in the cave's immediate surrounds and pictures of animals on a stalagmite in the cave's entrance. Beginning in 1990, the cave was the focus of archaeological investigations by the Heinrich Barth Institute of the University of Cologne. From 1995 these investigations were continued by Collaborative Research Centre 389 'ACACIA'.

Find further information here


Claßen, Erich; Kindermann, Karin; Pastoors, Andreas (2009): Djara - Cave Art in Egypt's Western Desert. In: Archéo-Nil 19, S. 47-66.

Claßen, Erich; Kindermann, Karin; Pastoors, Andreas; Riemer, Heiko (2001): Djara 90/1 - Felsbildhöhle und Fundplatz eines holozänen Gunstraums der Nordost-Sahara (Ägypten). In: Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 31 (3), S. 349-364.

Claßen, Erich; Kindermann, Karin; Pastoors, Andreas; Riemer, Heiko (2010): Djara - Höhlenbilder in der Westwüste Ägyptens. In: Karin Kindermann (Hg.): Djara. Zur mittelholozänen Besiedlungsgeschichte zwischen Niltal und Oasen (Abu-Muharik-Plateau, Ägypten). Bielefeld: Kock (Africa Praehistorica, 23), S. 767-814.

Pastoors, Andreas (2003): Höhlenkunst und Raum: Methodische Überlegungen zur Analyse von Konzepten der Höhlengestaltung auf der Grundlage der Höhle Djara (Ägypten). In: Andreas Pastoors und Gerd C. Weniger (Hg.): Höhlenkunst und Raum: Archäologische und architektonische Perspektiven. Düsseldorf: Jan van der Most (Wissenschaftliche Schriften des Neanderthal Museums, 3), S. 47-64.