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Author Topic: THE SAHARA  (Read 4747 times)
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2009, 08:52:56 am »

Standing Stones On Wadi Tifariti

Along the edges of Wadi Tifariti, archeologists have found evidence of a knapper’s site, where small blades and arrowheads were made.

“The area was pretty much unknown,” says Brooks. “Today the western Sahara is much more vegetated than the same latitudes further east. Certainly there is abundant evidence of water in the past, and, as in the rest of the Sahara, there are plenty of petroglyphs of large, humid-climate fauna.” He says the timing and speed of the Sahara desertification varied from place to place by as much as 1500 years, mediated by geography, topography, hydrogeology and the complexity of regional climatic systems. But most of the process, he says, was essentially complete by or soon after 3000 BC.

In the western Sahara, Brooks has found scads of evidence of human habitation—rock art, burial tumuli, enigmatic stone monuments and thousands of stone tools—but, unlike in the eastern Sahara, there are as yet no findings of civilizations here.

The plethora of cultural artifacts spurred Brooks to bring along this year archeologist Anne Pirie of the University of Reading. Focusing on the stone artifacts, she has identified small arrow or spear points similar to some found along the southern edge of the west and central Sahara that have been dated to between 6800 and 6500 BC, as well as much earlier Middle Paleolithic Levallois points that generally date to some 150,000 years ago.

There’s much more work to be done, but an exceedingly long human occupation is evident.
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