THE DHAR TICHITT CULTURE
The name Dhar Tichitt stands for sites that stretch along a cliff in the south of present-day Mauritania in an arc more than 500 kilometres wide. The area was settled around 4,000 years ago, presumably by shepherds from the Niger region. Evidence of extensive herds of cattle, sheep and goats has been found. By around 1,600 BC, the Tichitt culture had developed into a complex society with a rich cultural background. The simple, individually situated farms of the early period were consolidated in later times and replaced by impressive dry-stone walls and buildings. The oldest evidence of agriculture on the south-western edge of the Sahara was also found here.
Images courtesy of Google Earth™
Maybe it was because the Sahara was getting drier or because of the pressure of the desert nomads spreading south. In any case, the settlement area of the Tichitt culture appears to have been finally abandoned by the people who lived there around 300 BC.
The above images are only a small selection. All the objects I found are included in the following download (Google Earth required): Download 320 Google Earth placemarks >