Structural and geometric figures

Structural and geometric figures

Under this classification we bring together shapes as kites, symbolic signs and geometric designs...Except the kites, that have a correspondence in the ground structures, those shapes keep being hermetic to the scientific interpretation and should rather be understood in connection with traditional practices still alive today. 

G. O. Rollefson, A. Wasse, Y. Rowan art, ref. below
Representation of kites are mainly found in the Eastern Desert. What we call a kite consist in long walls converging to an enclosure where animals are trapped and can be easily shot. The enclosures contain caches in which the shooters hide. The kites plans represented on the stones meet perfectly the archaeological records. Most of the depicted kites that we discovered are empty, except one found in the Syrian desert.  
Geometric forms as tribal or family may be identity signs. Those identity marks are still in use today among the desert Bedouin societies. Each family and each tribe have their own mark that they use to indicate their properties as land, material, animals...

E.Borzatti ref. below
Pictograms in shapes of square, lines and circles define a space divided in portions that may be empty or contain elements as points,  crosses, stylized human of animals figures. Those designs appears very enigmatic at the first look and scholars suggested links with Mesopotamian proto-scripts , or ideograms related to sacred and profane, even abstract concepts or cosmic reference... The Proto-Elamite and Proto-Sumerian writing systems, the most ancient writing system in the Near and Middle East, effectively consist in geometric signs, numerical signs and pictographs. The roots of those geometric script may go back to the Paleolithic. However,  caution should be applied in order to avoid an over-interpretation of those patterns that eventually could be more trivial: following the indications given by a local source in Wadi Rum, certain geometric patterns indicate properties and space divisions put under a particular regime of protection or permission of exploitation. Traditionally, Bedouins used to carefully manage the natural resources and always aim to preserve their environment on which they totally depend. Therefore they used to determinate zones of their territory to be put under protection for a certain time, preserving them from hunting or grazing or logging, in order the nature to regenerate. Even today, those geometrical signs can refer to those traditional economy of territory practices., ref. below
In the same category we can mention the map of Jabal Amud, a large slab containing holes carved on a grid of lines. It was found out that this slab maps with precision the water points along wadies in the whole region of Wadi Rum till the Wadi Araba, as an hydrographic map. In the absence of inscription, the slab can not be dated but it is thought to belong to the Nabataean culture, as Nabataeans are known to have developed at a high level water engineering.  


Edoardo Borzatti von Löwenstern : Quadri Di Pietra, 8000 Anni D’Arte Nel Deserto, Casa Editrice Nuova, Bologna 2005.

Saba Fares-Drappeau : La Representation De La Main Dans Les Gravures Rupestres En Jordanie Eu Sud, Journal of Epigraphy & Rock Drawing, 2008/2, Department of Antiquities, Amman 2018.

A.Betts, S.Helms:

Kaelin Groom:

Bryan C. Gordon:

Yorke M. Rowan, Gary Rollefson, Alexander Wasse, Austin “Chad” Hill, Morag M. Kersel:

Michael Macdonald, Norbert Nebes:

Thomas R. Paradise:

Mahdi Alzoubi, Sultan Al-Maani and Hussein Al-Qudrah:



Azhideh Moqaddam: and