Next to the stone circles, antenna or crescent monuments are the most widespread structures in the Sahara. They come in very different forms, but have one thing in common: From a central chamber, the tumulus, arms spread out on two sides, which seemed like antennae to the first archaeological discoverers. The main forms are the so-called "V-antenna", which has a clear angle, and the arch-shaped "croissant"(crescent). There are also some variations and mixed forms of these two basic types. The antennas are distributed all over the Sahara from Niger in the southeast, to the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in the northwest. The dating of some V-type antennae gave an age of between 3,000 and 4,000 years. Croissants appear to be even older. Measurements there have shown between 4,000 and 6,000 years.

Images courtesy of Google Earth™

Beyond that, not much else is known about these monuments. Many of them were graves, others were not. Did the different forms all originate from the same line of development or did they develop independently at several sites? Could a single Neolithic pastoralist or nomadic people have spread these monuments over such a large land area, or were different peoples and cultures at work here? Many questions to which archaeology still has no answers.

These pictures are only a small selection. All the objects I found are included in the following download (Google Earth required): Download more than 10,500 Google Earth placemarks >

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