• 20/06/2024 09:10

What the Sahara was like 4000 years ago: scientists have revealed how the desert has changed

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Scientists have discovered a new cave painting that reveals what the Sahara was like 4,000 years ago.

About This information was reported by Journals, URA-Inform reports.

Ancient rock paintings found on the walls of the Atbay Desert in Eastern Sudan offer a window into the distant past. Although the region is extremely arid today, these works of art testify to a formerly lush green area full of water, vegetation and rich wildlife.

These drawings, dating back some 4,000 years, show how the climate of the Sahara Desert has changed radically over the past millennia. Archaeologists from Macquarie University discovered 16 rock art sites in the deserts near Wadi Halfa in northern Sudan, close to the Egyptian border.

Among the many figures depicted, archaeologists found illustrations of people, antelopes, elephants and giraffes. Particularly common were drawings of cattle, which seem unexpected in the current hyper-arid climate of the Atbay Desert.

Today, the region has almost no annual rainfall, making raising livestock impossible. But rock art suggests that herding was a common part of daily life in 3000 BC. e.

«It was strange to see images of cattle on the rocks, since these animals require large volumes of water and extensive pastures, which makes their survival impossible in the modern Sahara», &#8212 ; explained Dr. Julien Cooper, a researcher who led a team of archaeologists in 2018 and 2019 as part of the Atbay research project.

He added that the cattle paintings provide important evidence of a once green Sahara.

About 15,000 to 5,000 years ago, Africa was affected by summer monsoon rains caused by periodic changes in the Earth's orbit . Thanks to the rains, the continent turned into a lush land, covered with freshwater lakes and rich herbal vegetation.

However, the end of this wet period dramatically changed not only the landscape, but also the way of life of the people and animals that inhabited this area.

«Today the Atbay desert is almost completely empty, leaving behind only sheep and goats», — Cooper noted.

These changes profoundly affected every aspect of people's lives, altering their diets, dairy supplies, migration routes, and the livelihoods on which they depended.

Recall that it was previously reported what is happening inside a black hole: NASA showed a flight to the point of no return (video).

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