Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art of the Egyptian Ice Age

Rock carvings near the Egyptian village of Qurta have been dated via optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to 15,000 years ago.

OSL is not my favorite dating technique, but it does work sometimes, and that date seems quite reasonable for these carvings. Certainly they are pre-Neolithic, at least 9,000 years old. The dates actually came from wind-blow sediments that buried the carvings (hence the preservation), so they represent a minimum date, and the carvings could in theory be much older.

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