THE DISAPPEARED PARADISE
We know that the Sahara was once a green paradise full of people through rural paintings and millennia-old stone monuments they have left us. But who were these people? Where did they come from and where did they go when the fertile land they lived in became desert? Until now, there are hardly any answers to these questions.
Research in this area is still quite young. Although some of these enigmatic stone monuments were discovered in the first half of the 20th century and have been examined by various scientists since then, it was only new possibilities, such as high-resolution satellite images, that opened the view to the immense extent of these legacies.
With the exception of the circular tombs, which also occur in a similar form in large areas of North Africa and the Near East, most of these bizarre structures are concentrated in regions that can be relatively clearly defined. The buildings with antenna-like lateral extensions, the so-called "croissants" and the "V-antennas" have the largest distribution area.
In addition to the clearly distinguishable main forms, there are a few structures that combine features of various other monuments. They could be transitional forms that developed over the centuries, or cultural variants of different peoples or groups.
Open KitesRecently, ancient game traps have also been discovered in the Sahara, as they are already known from the Middle East. These kite-like traps were used for hunting and thus form a subject of their own. They are related to the other monuments found, which are mostly tombs, only insofar as both may have been created by the same people.
DatingsAlthough the first monuments in the Sahara were discovered about a hundred years ago, only relatively few dates are available. These have yielded ages starting at around 5,000 BC and extending into the early Middle Ages. I do not know of any dates for the recently discovered kite-like structures. If anyone knows more, please let me know >