The pastoralists of the Sahara

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The archaeology and rock art of the Sahara provide a rich testimony to some of the world’s oldest herding groups.

By 7500 years ago there is widespread evidence of cattle, sheep and goat domestication across the Sahara region, a region then much wetter than it is today.

These early domesticated animals and their keepers are portrayed in exquisite detail in the art. From the manner and contexts in which they are painted it is clear that, even in these early days of animal husbandry, stock had already taken on an important role within the ritual symbolism of herding cultures.

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