They’re the first truly pictorial art, depicting images of nature with human-like and animal-like figures, to be seen on the island. Until recently, rock art in Madagascar had only yielded a few sites with basic symbols. The dramatic discoveries contained several surprises, including hints at some remarkable cultural connections. First, scenes depicted in some cases linked up fairly directly to Egyptian religious motifs from the Ptolemaic period (300-30 BCE). Second, other inferences from symbols and writing on the walls showed connections to the Ethiopian and Afro-Arab worlds.