There are rock art many places in the Sahara region. They are found in Chad, Niger, Libya, Marocco and several places in Algeria. We traveled into Tassili n’Ajjer in the south-east part in Algeria that is one of the significant places for several periods. Dating and chronology is difficult as the people did not have a written language and they have left very little. They have identified 15000 individual art pieces and they are finding more.
- Wild animal period. 12000-6000 BC. Wild animals are the most popular motives like giraffes, rhinos, antelopes, elephants etc. Humans are found hunting with spears and axes.
- Round head period. 9000-7000 BC. People are shown with round, featureless heads.
- Pastoral period. 7200-3000 BC. Domestic cattle with people. Hunters have bows.
- Horse period. 3200-1000 BC. Humans are shown with horses even in chariots, Humans are dressed.
- Camel period. 3000–. The last period where camels were shown, as are cows and goats.
As can be seen, the periods overlap and they might be different for different areas in Sahara. As the climate changed and Sahara became drier and drier, the people moved and was assimilated in other tribes.
I noticed two different techniques , one where the images were painted on the rock, red or white or both. The other was carvings without colours similar to the rock carvings in Scandinavia. It is a mystery to me how the colour is undamaged on the rock after so long time.
I will show examples of the different motives.