Mogharet el Kantara

Shaw's Cave

Useful Information

Location: Southern part of the Gilf Kebir plateau.
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: SpeleologyWind Cave
Light: none
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: W.B.K. Shaw (1936): Rock Paintings in the Libyan Desert, Antiquity, Vol.X No.38 (June 1936), pp. 175-178
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1935 discovered by Rupert Harding Newman.


This erosional cave is a huge shelter, a horizontal cavern which is rather low and not very deep but wide. Nevertheless it is a very comfortable shelter with a level floor formed by desert sand. It is located just below the top of the plateau of the col separating the two wadis Wadi Wassa the Wadi Firaq.

The cave was named after W.B.K. Shaw, the leader of an expedition in the year 1935. But the paintings in the cave were discovered by Rupert Harding Newman, a member of the expedition.

This cave is somewhat exceptional, as it is the only known rock art site in the South-eastern half of the Gilf Kebir. The paintings depict mainly cattle scenes. They are located on the rear wall of the shelter, about 40 to 50cm above ground, in an almost continuous line.