BAR 31:03, May/Jun 2005
Tassili NAjjer, Algeria
This remarkably naturalistic ancient cave painting of lounging womenmore Matisse than Lascauxis just a small portion of the thousands of works of cave and rock art at Tassili NAjjer, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on a high plateau deep in the Algerian Sahara. The Sahara was not always the desert it now is: In prehistoric times, Tassili NAjjer teemed with life. It supported abundant game, including large herd animals, that in turn nourished a vibrant human civilization.
Discovered in 1933, the art at Tassili NAjjer goes back at least as far as the fourth millennium B.C. and can be divided into four distinct stylistic periods, each reflecting …