MemberApril 19, 2021 at 1:10 am
I found Anati’s figure for the numbers of rock images on and around Har Karkom, 35,000! Better quote him so I don’t get it wrong:
Various. “A Line, a God, a Stick or a Snake? Professor Jamme Comes Down on Professor Anati, Who Replies in Kind | Queries & Comments.” Biblical Archaeology Review 11, no. 6 (December 1985): 16, 18–19, 72, 74–76.
Over 35,000 rock pictures have been recorded at Har Karkom. While it is virtually impossible as well as intellectually irresponsible to draw conclusions about the significance of a single figure as Dr. Jamme tries to do, the comparative study of this large assemblage is gradually beginning to make sense. While the rock art belonging to the “literate periods” of the last twenty-five centuries may include anecdotal scenes and descriptions of men “having a good time,” the pre-literate depictions reveal no evidence of this rather contemporary concept. This point has already been stressed in my Arte rupestre del Negev e del Sinai (Milan: Jaca Book, 1979). [Anati]
To an illiterate tribesman, an X or a Z are just scribbles. To the literate person, they have a meaning and a sound, and when combined in a certain order with other signs make a word or convey a thought, although for the illiterate person such an assertion may seem pure imagination. For Dr. Jamme, “a line is just a line” when it has nothing to do with epigraphy. However, for the scholar of rock art, when a specific anthropomorphic figure is combined with a special type of “line” and this is repeated several times, associated in the same order, on different rock surfaces, it is unlikely that they are meaningless scribblings, and they call for further analysis. [Anati]