Oman // Musandam //

Petroglyphs

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Musandam boasts an unusually rich collection of petroglyphs (from the Greek petros, meaning stone, and glyphe, meaning carving): simple rock art images which have been chipped out of boulders, cave walls or other convenient pieces of stone using sharp bronze, iron or stone tools and highlighted using a white pigment made from coral. Ancient petrogylphs can be found throughout the peninsula, often in the remotest places, and depict a wide range of subjects including people, animals (particularly horses and camels), as well as abstract symbols and geometrical patterns whose meaning has been lost. Dating the images is difficult, although the fact that most of them depict human or animal figures suggests that they may well pre-date the arrival of Islam (which prohibits the making of images of living creatures). Of Musandam’s many petroglyphs, the most easily accessible are those at the top of Jebel Harim and those in Wadi Tiwi.

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