Central Sahara (central + sahara)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Ammonoids from the Dalle des Iridet of the Mouydir and Ahnet (Central Sahara) and the Formation d'Hassi Sguilma of the Saoura Valley (Late Tournaisian,Early Visťan; Algeria)

Dieter Korn
Abstract Four ammonoid species are described from the Early Carboniferous (Mississippian) Iridet Formation of the Ahnet and Mouydir (Central Sahara, Algeria); three of which are new: Eurites temertassetensis n. sp., Trimorphoceras teguentourense n. sp., and Trimorphoceras azzelmattiense n. sp. The species can be attributed to the North African Ammonellipsites - Merocanites Assemblage (Fascipericyclus - Ammonellipsites Genus Zone; Late Tournaisian to Early Visťan). Additionally, the two new species Ammonellipsites sguilmensis n. sp. and Muensteroceras beniabbesense n. sp. are described from the time equivalent Hassi Sguilma Formation of the Saoura Valley (north-western Algeria). (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Evidence of artificial cranial deformation from the later prehistory of the Acacus Mts. (southwestern Libya, Central Sahara)

F. Ricci
Abstract The 1999,2001 Italian,Libyan Archaeological Mission in the Acacus and Messak, southwestern Libya, resulted in the discovery of human specimens from the Wadi Tanezzuft Valley belonging to the Final Pastoral horizon (i.e. late Neolithic, about 3000 years bp). Some of these show clear traces of artificial cranial deformation. This practice, hitherto unrecorded in the central Sahara, is described and analysed in this paper. It represents an additional source of information about population movements and cultural connections in the area. It does not appear to be gender-related, and neither does it involve all individuals in the sample, suggesting some kind of social and/or cultural differentiation within the group. The pattern of cranial deformation described here is not directly related to types most commonly encountered among recent African populations and elsewhere. It may be considered a combination of antero-posterior and circumferential deformation and thus is referred to as a ,pseudo-circular type'. Archaeological and ethnographic literature related to Africa and southwestern Asia is investigated in order to identify a possible origin of such a custom and its pattern of diffusion. The evidence, according to other sources of information, contributes to interpret this area at the centre of the Sahara as a focal point of population movements and circulation of cultural traditions across North Africa in the latest phases of the Pastoral Neolithic. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

First Genetic Insight into Libyan Tuaregs: A Maternal Perspective

Claudio Ottoni
Summary The Tuaregs are a semi-nomadic pastoralist people of northwest Africa. Their origins are still a matter of debate due to the scarcity of genetic and historical data. Here we report the first data on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genetic characterization of a Tuareg sample from Fezzan (Libyan Sahara). A total of 129 individuals from two villages in the Acacus region were genetically analysed. Both the hypervariable regions and the coding region of mtDNA were investigated. Phylogeographic investigation was carried out in order to reconstruct human migratory shifts in central Sahara, and to shed light on the origin of the Libyan Tuaregs. Our results clearly show low genetic diversity in the sample, possibly due to genetic drift and founder effect associated with the separation of Libyan Tuaregs from an ancestral population. Furthermore, the maternal genetic pool of the Libyan Tuaregs is characterized by a major ,European" component shared with the Berbers that could be traced to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a minor ,south Saharan' contribution possibly linked to both Eastern African and Near Eastern populations. [source]