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Carving interactions: rock art in the nomadic landscape of the Black Desert, north-eastern Jordan
Book is available open access from Archaeopress (www.archaeopress.com) The Safaitic rock art of the North Arabian basalt desert is a unique and understudied material, one of the few surviving traces of the elusive herding societies that inhabited this region in antiquity. Yet little is known about this rock art and its role in the desert societies. Why did these peoples make carvings in the desert and what was the significance of this cultural practice? What can the rock art tell us about the relationship between the nomads and their desert landscape? This book investigates these questions through a comprehensive study of over 4500 petroglyphs from the Jebel Qurma region of the Black Desert in north-eastern Jordan. It explores the content of the rock art, how it was produced and consumed by its makers and audience, and its relationship with the landscape. This is the first-ever systematic study of the Safaitic petroglyphs from the Black Desert and it is unique for the study of Arabian rock art. It demonstrates the value of a material approach to rock art and the unique insights that rock art can provide into the relationship between nomadic herders and the wild and domestic landscape.