The river Oued Djerad is located in the south of the oasis Illizi at the northern edge of the plateau of Tassili n’Ajjer. The river is almost dried out with only a few water points. There were people living along the river until the 1970s but we see today only temporary camps of nomads.

At the shores of Oued Djerat, there are many engravings carved on the rocks. In the Central Sahara, engravings are seen in many rivers but there is no other river with such concentration as Oued Djerat. Big stones with vertical surfaces and rock riverbeds smoothed by water are ideal for carving. There are also paintings but very limited due to absence of suitable shelters.



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Subjects of engravings are animals such as cattle, horses, camels, giraffes, elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, lions, gazelles, barber sheep, monkeys, ostriches, pelicans, etc. as well as the life of people. By walking along the river, you will enjoy an open air museum of beautiful engravings. The engravings are mostly from the Neolithic period to the beginning of the Common Era but it is still controversial. Some researchers insist that the engravings of buffalos, extinct in the Neolithic period, are in the late Paleolithic period while others insist that they are domesticated cattle. The chronology is not clearly defined yet.