I joined once again the Rock Art exploration trip organized by Mr. Yves Gauthier. Our objective was to explore the Northern Mauritania and the east side of the Western Sahara governed by the Polisario Front. However, our request to the Western Sahara government-in-exile in Algeria was not responded. So, we tried several times to enter in secrecy but we were pushed back to Mauritania.

The land is mostly very flat with a 360-degree view and it is islanded with small rocky mountains often composed of hard rocks such as granite which are not suitable for good quality rock art. We explored mainly engravings carved on flat stones laying on the river banks of wadis (dried rivers). The themes of engravings are spirals, animals and ancient chariots, etc. Mauritania is the west end of the distribution map of  the ancient chariots which are widely spread in the Sahara. We could see a good number of chariots. In the northern border area of Mauritania and West Sahara, there are shelters with beautiful paintings.

During the trip, we saw many water points and a lot of green plants. I had a strong impression that the Green Sahara is returning. The Sahara had a period called “Green Sahara” from about 11,500 years ago until about 5,000 years ago when the Sahara was fully covered with vegetation. Rainfall in the Sahara is steadily increasing recently due to the global warming according the researchers.

At the end of our exploration, the Geminid meteor shower was a wonderful gift from heaven.







Engraving of el Ghallaouyia, December 2018 (4.3m x 3.0m)  360 degree panoramic view
エル・ハラウイヤの線刻画, 2018年12月撮影  (4.3m x 3.0m)  360度パノラマ


Engraving of Meherizat, December 2018 (3.3m x 2.4m)
メヘリザットの線刻画, 2018年2月撮影 (3.3m x 2.4m)