Tassili n’Ajjer (Arabic: plateau of the rivers) seems like an endless stretch of unforgiving desert to the modern traveler. It’s a dry and visually harsh looking area, located in south-east Algeria at the borders of Libya, Niger and Mali. However, that initial analysis is somewhat deceiving. Covering more than 28,000 square miles of the Sahara desert and mainly composed of sandstone, Tassili n’Ajjer holds many secrets which have enamored both the scientific community and alien enthusiasts alike. For hidden in the many caves and crevices in the crumbling rock, is a treasure trove of ancient cave paintings and rock art.
Since it’s first discovery in 1910, and later exploration in the 1930’s, scientific teams have been searching the area in earnest. What they discovered on the cave walls, was both amazing and surprising; some say the pictures are factual evidence that earth has been visited by alien astronauts. Regardless of which side of the alien debate the researchers took, they agreed that the site was unlike any other. The sheer volume of artwork discovered so far has given the area the distinction as one of the most important sites in the world of its type. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) concurred. They added Tassili n’Ajjer to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1982, where it currently remains.
The Early Day’s of Discovery
A French soldier named Charles Brennans is credited with some of the initial discoveries in the early 1930’s. While on an exploratory mission in a remote area of the desert, Brennans discovered paintings and rock engravings of elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, and strange human figures. He later returned to the area in 1956, accompanied by Henri Lhote, a French explorer and ethnographer, with financial support. Over the next 16 months, Lhote and his team discovered and documented almost 800 paintings.
Lhote later published a book detailing his findings and introduced the hypothesis that the humanoid drawings at Tassili represented ancient alien beings. He named one of the works, Jabbaren and described the drawing as one of the great Martian Gods. But, like any other explorer offering either new or controversial viewpoints, Lhote’s theories were summarily ignored by most mainstream scientists. They instead took the easy and safe route, stating that the pictures were actually humans wearing ritual or ceremonial garb and not extraterrestrial in origin.
Many years later, upon reviewing the drawings he returned from Tassili n’Ajjer with, many modern researchers deemed them misleading. Some even claimed they were fabricated and that Lhote had done damage to the site for personal gain.
The Big Picture Analysis
Ancient cave drawings give modern humans a peek into how our ancestors lived. Most are renditions of everyday life thousands of years ago and include a mixture of animals, plant life, structures, and depictions of routine activities such as hunting or community life. The exhibits at Tassili show all that, plus a little more. It’s undisputable that some of the paintings depict things which are unknown in origin, but certainly not from this planet.
Some of the common depictions initially led to confusion as they included things usually found in areas with more water than the modern desert. However, additional reseach and corroborating evidence has shown the world that the Sahara region wasn’t always a desert. Between 12,000 BC and 4000 BC it was completely different. Where the endless desert lies today, was once a thriving plateau complete with vegetation, ample water sources, and teeming with living things of all shape and sizes.
To date, more than 15,000 cave paintings have been catalogued and every different category of researcher agrees that many more existed in the past. Erosion has been the biggest culprit and has taken a huge toll on the ancient collections. Today only 1 in 5 are clearly.
The cave paintings are between 10-15,000 years old. They are very concentrated in a single area and have a unique distinction as compared to other drawings similar in age. Most cave drawings from this era were singular in color; usually reddish or black. Some of the ones in Tassili are multi-colored and more artistic looking as can be seen in the picture below.
What Can Be Seen
Many non-living things are pictured, including vegetation, rivers, and jungle plants. Also, drawings of giraffes, ostrich, elephants, oxen, alligators, hippos, humans in various activities and the strange beasts and alien astronauts. The latter category is what has drawn a lot of attention because the mysterious humanoid-like figures are wearing what appear to be gloves and helmets and suits which are reminiscent of the suits worn by modern astronauts. Another picture found is quite controversial, as the drawing shows what appears to be several human women being escorted into a mysterious non-earthly craft. And they are being led by what appears to be a figure wearing a globe-like helmet.
Next to some of the drawings, researchers have also identified a set of unique symbols. Some experts have speculated that these were part of a crude writing system existed in the area 5000 years ago. Mainstream archaeology has been less than accommodating in accepting theses symbols as actual language since it would force changes to the accepted belief that Mesopotamia was the cradle of civilization and writing.
Even though ample drawings exist, the lack of burial artifacts or any other items, such as pottery or other objects of everyday life, have left a gap in the total understanding of the people who created them and what time period they were actually associated with.
The Five Periods In Brief
The art discovered so far has been classified into five distinct periods. The oldest is the “wild fauna” period which depicts fauna of the savannah from 15,000 years ago along with large animals of the period. The “archaic” period, also known as the round head period, is connected to much of the controversy. Archeologists have tried to classify the drawings which are clearly alien in nature as humans dressed in large masks or other items which they claim are religious or ceremonial in nature. Yet many of these beings are seen floating and featureless, which seems to go against the theories presented by the scientific community.
The “pastoral” period is in the middle of the grouping and is where most of the drawings are associated. The dominant feature in this period are herdsmen and pictures of daily life in villages. The equidian or horse period shows a distinct change, especially with the introduction of the horse and fewer large animals being drawn. Shortly afterward came the camel period, which coincides to the domestication of the camel.
The actual dates and order of the five periods are still an issue of debate among researchers as noted previously.
Analyzing The Evidence To Support The Theory
Is it possible, as ancient astronaut theorists suggest, that the natives of the Tassili Caves depicted the ancient astronaut that visited them in the past 10,000 years ago? According to many researchers, it is a possibility.
To support the theory, one must look at ancient artwork found across the world as a basis for comparison. Even the most primitive cultures are known for drawing things they see in their lives; there is very little evidence of imaginative artwork. People simply rendered what they saw. Why would people depict fauna, animals, rivers, and people from their area, but then add something they couldn’t see. The ancient people of Tassili were no different and they certainly would not invent humanoid figures with antannea, helmets, or gloves unless they seen them with their own eyes.
We must conclude that extraterrestrial beings must have therefore regularly visited Earth in the distant past and that extraterrestrial beings had regular contact with the ancient inhabitants of the region. There is no evidence of any conflict between these alien beings and the indigenous peoples, so we must assume the relationship was friendly.
In addition as further supporting evidence, The mysterious beings with gloves, boots, and helmets are also seen in the Azyefú, Ti-n-Tazari, and Sefar region. Round headed drawings are found in the Nazca lines in Peru as well.
Many believe that the cave paintings of Tassili are evidence of humanoid-like beings who visited earth in the not so distant past. These beings who came to earth thousands of years ago left their mark in history and our ancestors left us with the proof of their existence; it’s up to each one of us to decide whether to believe the evidence or ignore it. I choose to believe.
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