Rock Art

Round Heads

Whereas some scholars (Mori, Hallier, Striedter & Tauveron …) also ascribe some engravings to this style, we prefer to describe here only the classical "Round Head" paintings of the Tassili-n-Ajjer and Tadrart Acacus region as they are particularly astonishing: the characters, often with a round head without any anatomic details, seem to float on the sites; the atmosphere is "esoteric" and the rare animals represented (mostly Barbary sheep and antelopes) have a static attitude: one is inclined to say that they are waiting for something to happen.

Lhote identified several sub-styles: the most famous is perhaps that of the Martians. They were given this name by Lhote's team because of the resemblance of these characters with space-suited astronauts. But some characters also have normal anatomic facial features. In this case, some researchers say they recognize "europoid" features. Geographical distribution: Tassili-n-Ajjer, south-west Fezzan. Researchers have suggested analogies between these central Saharan paintings and a few paintings and engravings in the Ennedi and in Djado region. The "Round Heads" of the Jebel al-Uweynat and Gilf Kebir area, in the Libyan Desert, are so called because of their perfectly round heads. But as they differ from the "classic" ones in the Central Sahara in a number of other stylistic features, and as they are very far away from them too, one should always specify here "Round Heads of the Jebel al-Uweynat/Gilf Kebir area".

Afozzigiar - Acacus - Libya.

Round Heads in Martian style. Jabbaren - Tassili of Tamrit - Algeria

Round Head painting in Martian style called "The Great Fishing God" by Lhote, for the character seems to carry a fish. Sefar - Tassili of Tamrit - Algeria  

One of the rare bovids in the Round Head style. Sefar -
Tassili of Tamrit - Algeria

Muzzolini said he could recognise "europoid" features on these characters at Tin Zoumaitak. Tassili of Tamrit - Algeria

Uadi Nesseret - Northern Tassili - Algeria.

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Last update of this website 20/12/14