Above is a cart from Tichitt which was a Mande settlemen
You continue to see the Berbers as Garamante . you also imply that the Mande probably didn't have charots this is false.
In addition to chariots West Africans also used ox carts at Dhar Tichitt. Holl says these ox carts date back to the Early Iconographic Tradition at Dhar Tichitt.
The presence of ox-carts at Dar Tichitt highlight the early use of wheeled transportation in West Africa.
This is evident in an examination of the Mande and Dravidian (Tamil) words for wheel and round. The words for wheel are Mande koli, kori, muru-fe; and Tamil kal, ari, urul , tikiri, in Kanada: gali tiguri, tigari. The term for cart in Tamil is Kal. In the Mande languages the word for round is Kuru,kulu, the word for carriage is is also Kulu and Kuru. The existence of Kal in Tamil for wheel and cart, and in the Mande languages: Koli for wheel and Kulu for carriage indicate that the original Proto-Dravido-African term for cart was probably *Kali or kuli. .
Last Edit: Mar 5, 2014 22:26:52 GMT -5 by clydewin98
Pyramids Of The Garamantians. Though not the oldest it was one of the oldest of the Sahara Trading and raiding across the desert to the coast proving to be very trouble some to Roman occupied coastal north Africa.
They fought several wars against the Garamantes, sometimes crossing the desert to assault their heartland, and the enemy was demonised as ‘a wild tribe much given to plundering … nomads who wandered from one inaccessible encampment to another’ (Tacitus). Other writers described desert-dwellers as ‘barely human’, and a black slave could be described as ‘Garamantian muck’ (faex Garamantarum). Stereotypes dominate the literature. ‘Ancient writers from the time of Herodotus to the end of the Roman period,’ explains David Mattingly, Roman archaeology professor at Leicester, ‘depicted the Garamantes as the epitome of a barbarian people, menacing the Mediterranean from their desert strongholds. Consider the epithets used to describe them: numerous, savage, fierce, indomitable, outermost, panting, naked, miserable, tent- or hut-dwelling, scattered, promiscuous, lawless, receivers of booty, light-armed, given to brigandage, black. The almost universally negative tone of these terms must be recognized for what it is – a mixture of preconception and prejudice.’
In 470 AD. the Latin poet Florus records (in scatological and racist terms) the importation of Garamantians as slaves into North Africa. In the same era the Latin writer Luxorious notes the importation of Garamantian women and men as slaves into North Africa. (Willis, 1985, p. 55). Lucan 4.679 describes them and the Nasamones as perustus or 'burnt up' by the sun; Arnobius in Adversus Nationes 6.5 calls them fuscus or brown or dark. Ptolemy II had early on referred to the Garamantes as "somewhat black" and "more likely Ethiopians" rather than Libyans. They were described as nearly nude and wore loin cloth made of animal skin like the medieval Zaghawa of Kanem. And like the latter the Garamantians had herds of cattle and possessed horses and camels, and rode their oxen backwards in pasturing. Past anthropological study of Garamantian skeletal evidence by Sergi and Charles Daniels has shown that the people were morphologically not that disimilar from types found in the Sahel, Sahara and Nubia extending into the east African area today. As with other early proto-Berber tribes the Garamantes and Getulians were both frequently disparaged for their black complexions in early Latin literature. A recent abstract for the article "Was Black Beautiful in Vandal Africa" in African Athena: New Agendas by professor and classicist John Starks, Jr. clarifies the issue.
Traders of the desert Garama is located in the Wadi Ajal, a sinuous east-west depression some 100 miles long and 2 to 3 miles wide. To the north lies the Dahan Ubari, a great sand sea swelling upwards from the wadi, and to the south, the Massak Sattafat hamada, a barren rock plateau raised up on a towering escarpment. The sand and rock deserts on either side are wholly inimical to life; only the wadi can sustain it. Along its length, field surveys have located some 500 Garamantian sites. Many are cemeteries, but, in addition to Garama, there seem to have been several small towns and about 50 villages and hamlets in the Classic Garamantian period. Four thousand people may have lived in Garama itself, with another 6,000 in suburban satellite villages close by, and perhaps as many as 50,000 in the wadi as a whole. This, however, was not the full extent of Garamantian territory. Garama and the Wadi Ajal were at the centre of a wider Garamantian empire. The Garamantes controlled chains of wadis and oases on the desert caravan routes extending over 100,000 square miles, perhaps doubling the total number of the Garamantian king’s subjects.
Much of the wealth came from control of the caravan trade. Garamantian camel-trains brought the products of Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa to the Roman cities of the Mediterranean – salt, gold, semi-precious stones, ivory, wild animals for the arena, and natron (a naturally occurring alkali used in embalming and glassmaking). Some things were undoubtedly of Garamantian manufacture – archaeologists have found metalworking hearths (for processing iron, bronze and possibly gold and silver), and evidence for the working of semi-precious stones like the translucent red carnelian and an opaque turquoise known as amazonite. Probably, also, the Garamantes traded slaves.
War was the principal source of slaves in antiquity, and the Garamantes were great warriors. They fought sometimes from chariots, most typically as cavalry – being renowned for their horses and horsemanship – and occasionally as infantry: there are depictions of all three on Garamantian rock-carvings. They wore no armour, fought in loose order, and were equipped with javelins and small round shields – operating, no doubt, as fast-moving and elusive skirmishers. They had used their military pre-eminence to conquer a desert empire, and from it they continued to launch raids on their neighbours – yielding a steady return of war-captives for sale in the slave markets of the Roman cities on the coast.
The desert trade, however, cannot explain Garamantian civilisation. That trade continued through later centuries, but medieval Jarma was just a caravan town on the trans-Sahara route, not an imperial capital. Something else had happened under the Garamantes. They had made the desert bloom.
Farmers of the desert In places across the desert surface there are white crusts of calcium carbonate and other mineral deposits, representing ancient dried-out lake beds from a time when the Sahara was far wetter than today. Garamantian society developed after the major period of drying out, after the present hyper-arid desert conditions were established about 5,000 years ago. Much of the water was burnt off, but some was sealed as ‘fossil water’ in underground rock formations known as ‘aquifers’. Water-bearing strata ran near the base of the rock plateau to the south of Wadi Ajal – but at a higher level than the wadi depression itself, such that, if tapped, it would flow down into the valley. Here was the secret of Garamantian civilisation.
Garamantian engineers, inspired by irrigation methods developed in Persia and Egypt, dug long underground channels – foggaras – to tap the water trapped in the aquifer at the base of the escarpment and conduct it out into the valley, where it flowed continuously into the oasis and turned it into a Garden of Eden. The channels were generally very narrow – less than 2 feet wide and 5 high – but some were several miles long, and in total some 600 foggaras extended for hundreds of miles underground. The channels were dug out and maintained using a series of regularly-spaced vertical shafts, one every 30 feet or so, 100,000 in total, averaging 30 feet in depth, but sometimes reaching 130.
Often cut through sand, gravel and clay, but sometimes through rock, the construction and maintenance of this vast system must have consumed large numbers of slaves – working in the searing heat of the Sahara near the surface, or in the gloom and danger of the narrow passages deep underground. Through their work, the Garamantes cultivated the desert and feasted on locally grown dates, grapes, olives, figs, sorghum, millet, barley and wheat, supplemented with joints of locally reared beef, lamb and pork.
For newcomers Be mindful of the Berber/Negro thing below in this article we here know better than that.
Conquest, raiding, the caravan trade, and rich irrigation agriculture: these gave the Garamantes the resources to build an urban civilisation in the desert. Where had these extraordinary people come from?
Greek and Roman writers sometimes imply the Garamantes were like the Berbers of north Africa, sometimes like the Negroes of sub-Saharan Africa. Skeletal evidence supports this: the Garamantes seem to have been a mixture, much as we might expect; similar that is to the present-day population of the Central Sahara. Probably, too, they were a confederation of desert tribes, whether formed willingly or through the dominance of the group centred on Garama. Some may have migrated to the Fazzan from oases further east, nearer Egypt, bringing some of the techniques of civilisation with them. As well as irrigation, masonry building, and forms of architecture, the Garamantes introduced the horse, the camel and wheeled transport to the Sahara. They also brought writing – short funerary inscriptions in the ancient Libyan language are rendered in a script formed of circles, crosses, squares, arrows and zigzags. The mélange of native, Egyptian and Graeco-Roman elements apparent in temple design and funerary monuments implies some such cultural mixing. But most Classical period Garamantes were probably descendants of the local Neolithic farmers who had arrived in the area around 1000 BC, building a series of small hillfort settlements along the escarpment at the edge of the wadi.
The Garamantes at War
Left: Garamantian cavalry. A rock carving from Zinkekra in the Wadi Ajal showing an armed horseman – he appears to carry a weapon in his right hand and a shield in his left – standing beside his mount. This ‘horse’ or ‘caballine’ style is thought to date to the 1st millennium BC. Light cavalry who operated as raiders, guerrillas and skirmishers were probably central to Garamantian warfare.
Right: Garamantian infantry. This rock carving, also from Zinkekra in the Wadi Ajal, depicts a foot soldier. He appears to wear a short tunic and a plumed helmet or headdress. He is armed with a round shield and javelins, one of which he is throwing, while he holds the other in his left hand.
However spectacular the achievement, Garamantian civilisation did not last. When Islamic Arabs invaded the Fazzan in 666-67 AD, there was still a king at Garama, but his power had waned, many of the foggaras had ceased to function, and the population was shrinking to the smaller number that could be supported by well irrigation – much less efficient, since water had to be raised mechanically by muscle-power in buckets. What had gone wrong? We cannot be sure. The decline of the cities in Late Antiquity may have reduced the market for trans-Saharan traders. The Garamantian kings’ grip on power may have slipped and the supply of slaves to maintain the irrigation system run out. Or perhaps the aquifers ran dry. Certainly they are dry now. It is estimated that over six centuries the Garamantes extracted 30 billion gallons of water – non-renewable ‘fossil water’ – and the water-table must have gradually dropped until, perhaps, it fell below the level of the foggaras and left them as dry as the desert. And then the civilisation of the Garamantes shrivelled in the sun and disappeared beneath the sand.