Magharet el Kantara

Magharet el Kantara or Shaw's Cave (Arabic: مغارة القنطرة, arched cave) is a rock art shelter of the Gilf Kebir National Park in the New Valley Governorate, Egypt. Located on the south-western slopes of Gilf Kebir, it was discovered in 1935 by the explorers Bill Kennedy Shaw and Rupert Harding Newman.[1]

Magharet el Kantara
The cave of Magharet el-Kantara
Shown within Egypt
LocationGilf Kebir
RegionNew Valley Governorate, Egypt
Coordinates22°58′56″N 25°59′11″E


The cave is 4 m (13 ft) high and 15 m (49 ft) wide. About half a meter above the ground there are rock paintings of a herd of differently drawn cattle and a farmstead representing a rare example of cattle paintings in the Gilf Kebir that otherwise are abundant in the nearby Jebel Ouenat.[2] These Neolithic rock paintings testify the favorable climatic conditions of life during the African humid period much different from the present one.[3]


  1. Bill Kennedy Shaw, Rock Paintings in the Libyan Desert. In: Antiquity, a quarterly review of world archaeology, ISSN 0003-598X, V. 10, 38 (1936), pp. 175–178.
  2. Rudolph Kuper: Archaeology of the Gilf Kebir National Park Retrieved 2020/04/20.
  3. Yves Gauthier and Giancarlo Negro, Magharat el-kantara (Shaw’s Cave) revisite : art rupstre du sud Gilf Kebir (Egypte de sud-ouest). In: Sahara : preistoria e storia del Sahara, ISSN 1120-5679, V. 9 (1997), pp. 124–133.
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