Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I've got more than an interest in rock art at the moment, due to getting to grips with the archaeology of Egypt's Eastern Desert, so any rock art items, however small, find their way into one blog or another. This one comes from Reuters Africa.

Algeria, a treasure house of prehistoric Saharan art, has discovered more neolithic rock etchings in the desert from around 8,000 years ago showing cattle herds, a government newspaper reported Monday.

El Moudjahid daily said local tour guide Hadj Brahim found about 40 images near the town of Bechar, about 800 km (500 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers. Prehistoric paintings are found in many parts of the Sahara, often portraying a garden-like environment of hunting and dancing in bright greens, yellows and reds at a time before desertification, which happened around 4,000 years ago.

Algeria's best known drawings are in the southeast in the Tassili N'Ajjer mountains. The site of 15,000 images has been named world's finest prehistoric open-air art museum by UNESCO. Despite a rich Saharan inheritance, Algeria remains off the beaten track for most tourists because of its politically unstable history and an undeveloped tourist sector.