Tassili-Ager

In the south-east of Algeria is a huge and desolate plateau of Tassili-Ager area of 72 thousand sq. km. The length of the plateau is 700 km, width - 100 km. The surface of the Tassili-Ager cross canyons, representing the ancient beds of dried rivers. The rocks Tassili-Ager has lots of caves and volcanic hot springs.

The ancient inhabitants of Tassili-Ager drew more than 15 thousand cave paintings and reliefs

The ancient inhabitants of Tassili-Ager drew more than 15 thousand cave paintings and reliefs. They cover a huge period of time - 6 millennium BC to the present day. The pictures show animals, people, chariots, scenes of hunting, war, ferrying herds. They are a real chronicle of North Africa.

The largest ensemble of rock art in the Sahara are mainly located in the highlands of Tassili-Ager, Tassili Ahaggar, Tibesti Fezzan, Adrar Iforase, Aire, Bork. Rock paintings do not reach such a high density of anywhere in the world. They show that in the Neolithic period in the Sahara was wetter climate, rich in plant and animal worlds. Tassili Ager Frescoes captured the whole evolution of the Sahara once flourishing savannah to the barren desert.

Rock paintings of Tassili-Ager created many generations of hunting and pastoral tribes that inhabited present-day desert in those days. Then it was a country with an exceptional climate, lush vegetation and abundant wildlife.

In the Neolithic era in the Tassili-Ager grew different species of deciduous and coniferous trees, oak trees, oleander and myrtle, citrus and olive trees. Numerous valleys were then deep rivers like the Nile and the Niger.

Ancient artists Tassili-Ager carve their works on the rocks or written mineral paints. The binder they used egg whites. The paint is applied by hand, tassels and feathers.

Around the middle of the 2nd millennium BC in the Tassili-Ager images appear chariots pulled by horses. According to figures on rocks traced their way from the Mediterranean coast to the upper bend of the Niger River. Near the chariots in the illustrations depict people. It is light-skinned, tall warriors armed with swords, spears and javelins. But who are they?

About the inhabitants of the Sahara also wrote the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. In ancient times, the people called Garamantes. Scientists have found that the foundation of this nation have made the descendants of the ancient Libyans. In the following centuries Garamantes mingled with local tribes and formed modern ethnic Tuareg and Teda, who inhabit the Sahara.

By the middle of the 2nd millennium BC Tassili-Ager finally turned into a parched desert. But the traditions of rock painting preserved in living here Tuareg until the mid 20th century. This is evidenced by schematic drawings found on the walls of the French forts built here in the early 20th century.

The discoverer and researcher of rock art in the Sahara was a French scholar Henri Lhote, who in the early 1950s found in the Tassili-Ager more than 10 thousand drawings. In 1972, in order to preserve the world's largest complex of prehistoric art, national park was established in the Tassili-Ager. Today, it has an area of 1000 square kilometers.

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