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The Prehistoric Rock Art of Morocco

A study of its extension, environment and meaning

Susan Searight


This study aims to examine all aspects of Moroccan rock art and place it in an archaeological and environmental context. Almost 300 sites are now known but few have been studied fully. This work is the first overall analysis to be attempted. The author sets herself 9 specific objectives: 1) To present an up-to-date account of the history of research into Moroccan rock art from its beginnings in the 19th century. 2) To treat rock art as a part of integrated archaeological research. 3) To place rock art manifestations in a climatic and ecological framework. 4) To establish the distribution of rock art sites, by surveying - as far as the published material allowed - the position and contents of all known sites. 5) To find out if all sites contained the same type of engraved material. 6) To propose a tentative chronology of Moroccan rock art and provide possible dates for the sites. 7) To interpret the engraved images as a “medium of communication”. One line of research in this direction was the localisation of this art in the landscape and its relationshA to the local topography as a form of sign-posting. 8) To investigate the possible symbolic content of the images. 9) To insert rock art into the tissue of Neolithic and later life, in so far as it is known, in order to ascertain its place in the “production process” of the Neolithic and later populations of Morocco.