Wadi Takdhalt


takdhalt site sign boed, yellow with blue sky background, showing the name of the protected site

Welcome To Wadi Takdhalt. Tashwinat.



animal and human paintings and tifinagh berber script

Prehistoric Caves From Acacus.


Like many other ancient caves discovered in Acacus and Fezzan, this cave contains several prehistoric paintings and images of people, animals, cattle and graffiti. Some of the floors of these caves also hide some prehistoric artifacts, like Mori's mummy, which he found buried in one of the caves in nearby Wan Mahugag. The caves come in different sizes and shapes, but this one, well hidden in the corner, is about ten meters long (10 m) and three meters high (3m). The painted images on the entrance to the cave could have several purposes, including to indicate ownership, as to tell passers-by that this cave is inhabited and stay away; and also for magical protection, as this practice seems to have survived to the present day in North Africa, where most old Berber houses and rooms have images of hands, moons, horns and eyes painted just above the door, with red henna or white paint, and even built with mud, as in the following photo from Nalut:


nalut castle door  


entrace to a prehistoric cave in takdhalt

Left: an old door from the Castle of Nalut (the Berber Granary); right: an entrance to a prehistoric cave.




so called birdmen

These figures are often referred to as "Bird-Men" or "birdmen", from the fact that their arms resemble two wings or birds in flight. They are very stylised and abstract human figures with the so called stick-heads and fat short legs. The symbolism behind these images is not known.



figures of women dancing




more dancing women

Dancing women.



Paintings of women in triangular forms: a triangle pointing down for the shoulders
and another one pointing up for the lower part of the body.



an abstract camel paintings with people on top

An abstract and stylised drawing of a camel with some people on its back.



Berber alphabet or Tuareg script, in red

Drawings of the Berber or Tuareg script of Tifinagh.



Tuareg script writing




the Berber alphabet on rocks from a distance

The Berber alphabet or script: red paint on rocks.