A German excavation mission from Bon University discovered 15 separate prehistoric graffiti texts during their excavation work in the Noblemen cemetery in Aswan.
"It's a very important discovery because it is an indication that this area was a human settlement since the predynastic era," Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online, adding that he considers the newly discovered graffiti to be "the oldest engraving ever found in such area until now."
Eldamaty went on to say that the graffiti also reveals that the area where it was found was a holy place which urged the predynastic people living there to engrave sacred graffiti on its stone rocks.
"More graffiti is to be found, for sure, after further exploration works," Eldamaty explained.
Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities section in the antiquities ministry, pointed out that the graffiti found depicts engravings of wild animals, cattle, gazelles, birds and ostriches.
Sacred religious rituals are also engraved at the site. These rituals reveal the early religious practices that were untertaken to facilitate the hunting of wild animals.
The noblemen cemetery includes of a collection of rock-hewn tombs carved into the western mountain of Aswan. They date back to the 23rd century BC and are filled with the rock-hewn tombs of princes from the Old Kingdom to the Roman period.
All the tombs are decorated with vivid murals scenes of daily life, hieroglyphic texts and different titles of the deceased as well as their trips to Africa.
The most distinguished tombs are those that belong to the 12th dynasty nobles Sarenput I and II, Pepynakht , Sibni , Mekhu and Qubbet AlHawwa.
Holy graffiti discovered