Discovered: Ancient Egyptian Bas-Relief Cave Engravings

Layers of various animal inscriptions (Hesham Hussein/Sinai Antiquities

See Ancient Cave Art Found in Egypt’s Sinai Desert

by Alex Fox/

A team of archaeologists has discovered a cave adorned with unique engravings of animals in the northern Sinai Desert, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity announced in a Facebook post last week.

Compared with cave art found in the southern Sinai, the newly described engravings boast a singular aesthetic.

“[This] cave is the first of its kind to be discovered in the area,” Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ministry of Antiquities’ ancient Egyptian antiquities sector, tells Ahram Online’s Nevine El-Aref.

Artists active during the predynastic period likely created the engravings, says Hesham Hussein, lead archaeologist on the find and Sinai’s director of antiquities, in an email. He dates some of the inscriptions back to the Naqada III period, which lasted from approximately 3200 to 3000 B.C., but stipulates that the site has yet to be fully studied.

The cave’s potentially 5,000-year-old carvings are distinct from those found in the valleys of the southern Sinai, Ashmawi tells Al-Masry Al-Youm of the Egypt Independent. He adds that the carvings bear a resemblance to bas-relief designs, which feature images that only slightly protrude from the surface.

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