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Rock Art, Landscape and Settlement in the High Atlas (Morocco)

Grabado antropomorfo Pulse para ampliar
Valle de Oukaïmeden Pulse para ampliar
  • Timeframe: 2008-2012
  • Lead institution: Departamento de Prehistoria de la UCM, Madrid. Proyecto financiado por el Plan Nacional I+D+i (HAR2009-07169, duración 2009-2012) y las convocatorias de Proyectos de excavaciones arqueológicas en el Extranjero del IPCE.
  • Lead researcher: Dra. María Luisa Ruiz-Gálvez (Dpto. Prehistoria, UCM)
  • MAN researchers: Eduardo Galán Domingo, Ruth Maicas Ramos
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This is a joint project between the Complutense University in Madrid (UCM) and the National Institute of Archaeological and Heritage Sciences (INSAP) in Morocco. Led by Dr. María Luisa Ruiz-Gálvez (UCM), it involves researchers from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), INSAP, UCM, the University of Alcalá de Henares, the Geological and Mining Institute (IGME), the Regional Government of Extremadura and the National Archaeological Museum (MAN).

The project falls within the field of landscape archaeology, which studies how human beings perceived their environment physically as well as from a cognitive, social and emotional perspective, and how this perception impacted on the way they viewed the environment in which they lived.

Thus, while sedentary farmers fenced off the space they had tamed and claimed for cultivation, ranchers thought of their territory as points on a mental map, which helped them to move confidently across the landscape. For example, prominent rocks, high mountains and other landmarks served as references for tracing routes, paths and accesses and locating resources. These points also provided a medium on which to inscribe messages related to their physical or epiphanic aspects.

This is the focus of the rock art study currently being conducted in the Oukaimeden Valley in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, an area of high pastures still used by Berber shepherds whose mobility patterns are undoubtedly very similar to those of their prehistoric ancestors and whose rights of access to the valley are governed by complex rituals imbued with symbolic and mythical meanings. In addition to studying and recording these artistic manifestations, the project also explores their archaeological, palaeoenvironmental and geological aspects.

Vol. 25 Núm. 2 (2014): Art, Landscape and Settlement in the Oukaïmeden Valley, (High Atlas) Nueva ventana

Engravings: representation of a bovid Pulse para ampliar Engravings: representation of a bovid
Excavation of a Neolithic hut at Aougnin n’ait Ourigh Pulse para ampliar Excavation of a Neolithic hut at Aougnin n’ait Ourigh
Excavation of a tumulus Pulse para ampliar Excavation of a tumulus in the central part of the valley
Oukaimeden Neolithic pottery Pulse para ampliar Oukaimeden Neolithic pottery
Oukaimeden Neolithic lithic materials Pulse para ampliar Oukaimeden Neolithic lithic materials

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