THE GRAFFITI PROJECT
PREHISTORIC HERITAGE OF SAHARA
THE GRAFFITI PROJECT is the idea of a serie of expeditions in order to reach those regions of the Sahara Desert, where there are the most interesting and richest concentrations of prehistoric rock art. On that basis, you can trace the life and beliefs of the indigenous people of the desert dating from the time when Sahara was dominated by fertlile pastures – nearly until now. For nomads rock painting and engravings was always a way of exchanging information – like modern walls covered with graffiti. Saharan graffiti count often thousands or tens of thousands of years. And the oldest witness of life in this region was found in 1999. The stone statue of the Venus of Tan Tan is approx. 400 000 years old.
But this journey is not only focused on prehistory – there’re also also virgin landscapes, fascinating culture and life of the nomads. From this point of view expeditions will be organized by the Association dedicated to support local communities in aim to maintain their traditional lifestyle – sedentary and nomadic.
Intercultural nature of these expeditions is to integrate with the residents of the desertic areas. In addition to hotels or riads we will stay with local families – in nomads tents and in their modest clay houses. We will live in the rhythm of their lives – leaving the ordinary rush and stress to other occasions. And we will also have the possibility of exploration of the areas on our own.
This is not a trip – but a serious off-road expedition. We may indeed be driven around, but we assume that we prefer to ride independently, in our own – or rented cars. It’s part of the adventure – the excitement and adrenaline resulting from driving on rough desert trails. For this reason, the expedition will need not only a local guide – but the experienced offroad pilot – and we’ll ride in a convoy, not separating out.
We will see
- Large clusters of rock engravings from different eras, covering the rocks at the edge of the dry oued bed. In the neighborhood there is also the newly built museum where you can get acquainted with the history of rock art in Western Sahara.
- A small cave, covered with dozens of ochra paintings made, some of which can be seen only lying squeezed in the gap between the rocks forming the «ceiling» and the floor of this former nomads shelter. Precisely painted human figures and animals mingle here with the dynamism of group scenes and abstract symbols. Performances of animals that today we associate with savannas of central Africa (eg. Elephants), remind us that the Sahara was once a fertile, green land.
- Unusual engravings around the oued Draa. Bedrock, like a big board covered with hundreds of petroglyphs, applied for hundreds of years by nomads, periodically visiting this place. The passage of time and changing reality are perfectly reflected in the content of rites, and it can be seen that the rhythm of nomadic life has not changed too much since the days when their ancestors had carved the first figure in the rock.
- Interesting site in the mountains, where are several well-preserved paleolithic engravings. Quite recently at one of the site it has been created a small museum.