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About Wadi Sura

Wadi Sura II - The "Cave of Beasts"

A second large, but much more spectacular rock shelter was discovered in Wadi Sura in 2002 by an Egyptian-Italian tourist party, headed by Massimo Foggini and Ahmed Mistikaoui.

With regard to some problems that arose from the appellation of this site by personal names (regardless of national and geographical regulations that normally should define the name of a place), we decided to use a more neutral term and to list the site archaeologically as "Wadi Sura II" and for a better general understanding with regard to the most striking feature among the paintings "Cave of Beasts".

The number of 6,000 to 8,000 painted, and - to a smaller part - engraved figures in this cave dwarfs not only the old Wadi Sura shelter, but also the majority of comparable sites in the entire Sahara. Also with regard to the variety of painted topics, the vitality of the human figures and their gestures as well as the composition of scenes, hardly a similar ensemble can be found. There are countless groups of humans, dancing, interacting in domestic scenes and involved in enigmatic behaviour or rituals; hunters with bow and arrow; combats between archers and finally hundreds of hand stencils. Most remarkable are more than 30 examples of a mysterious, obviously headless beast that now also provides an interpretation for a similar enigmatic figure in the old "Cave of Swimmers".