Skip to comments.In Search Of The Lost Sahara
Posted on 05/18/2008 6:59:59 PM PDT by blam
In search of the lost Sahara
A team of Basque and Sahrawi archaeologists is making the first catalogue of the prehistoric heritage of the Western Sahara.
Archaeologists doing some research. Photo: EiTB
The region of Tiris, a vast desert area south of Western Sahara, is the work field of the Basque-Sahrawi expedirion researching the past of this inhospitable place of the planet.
A team of Basque archaeologists led by Andoni Sáenz de Buruaga, a professor at the Basque public university UPV, is visiting the Western Sahara for a fifth time.
"We presented our research project to the Sahrawi Government in 2004. It was very well received and we have been given every chance. The results are very good, we have really made progress and that encourages us to travel for the fifth time to the region of Tiris", Andoni Sáenz de Buruaga says.
The research of the Basque archaeologists covers an area of 30,000 km2, three times the surface of Navarre. These lands are part of the Western Sahara that escapes the control of Morocco, which controls 75 percent of the former Spanish colony.
More than 300 archaeological sites found
In five years' work, the Basque archeologists have catalogues more that 300 archaeological sites, including former human settlements, carvings and cave paintings. Most of them are between 3,000 and 10,000 years old. The research work helps to make the prehistoric heritage of the southern region of the Western Sahara better known. The gathered material will be part of the first archaeological catalogue of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
"We are sweating blood but it is worthy. We will keep on trying to research the past of the Sahrawis. It is vet important for them to know their cultural heritage, which is very rich opposite to what it was generally thought. It is a way to show and claim and their ancestors lived here", Sáenz de Buruaga said.
One of the most remarkable conclusions is the verification that today's arid desert was a subtropical savanna with plenty of flora and fauna six thousand years ago. Rains decreased as a consequence of a process of climate change and animals moved to other places to face the lack of water.
A different way of cooperation
Apart from their research work, the Basque archaeologists also target to cooperate with their Sahrawi colleagues. Expeditions are always based on joint work. This time, the expedition is formed by three Basque and three Sahrawi archaeologists.
"We can only work together with them for a month, which is all the time we spend at the Sahara every time. It is little time but we try to make the most of it. What we want if is to give them technical training. They have very few resources and what we teach them is very useful for them for future research works. But certainly, the cooperation is mutual. We receive much from them, Sáenz de Buruaga says.
In fact, Basque archaeologists would not be able to go deeper into the inhospitable desert of Tiris without the help of the Sahrawi Government and the local researchers.
But but I thought global warming was a recent manmade thingy,did Algore get it wrong?
Somebody lost the Sahara?
Reminds me of the story about the lumberjack who said he had spent most of his life working in the Sahara.
Someone said, "You mean the Sahara Desert?
The lumberjack answers, "Yeh, that's what they call it NOW!."
LOL! Good one. ;-)
Gadzooks! Them danged early Homo Sapiens with their SUVs and huge Carbon Footprints! If only Algore had been around back then, we'd be living in a true Democrat paradise now!
Well, I got a new shop-vac, and I started with the dust in the garage, and I kind of kept going, and well...
Sorry, I sucked up the Sahara.
Good vacuum, though!
Well, that answers that question the lost Sahara is all your fault. Shame on you put it back. ;-) At least we know were it went. Thanks for fessen up.
Actually, I was thinking of finding out where the Goracle has his next appearance - I’m sure it would be convenient to have an instant desert behind him! I’m sure I could get him to pay me a few of his millions...
Thanks Blam. The Sahrawi Arab Republic of Western Sahara is another political fiction, like "Palestine".
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Sorry, I ate it for desert...
The prehistoric stone pier projects inward toward the Sahara rather than outward into the Atlantic as we were led to believe. The former sea that is now the Sahara is the Sea of Triton.