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Endangered Archives


T
hanks to a major grant given by The British Library for the 'Endangered Archives' programme, we have recorded more than one hundred sites with inscriptions carved on stone walls or boulders in Tifinagh charachters. These texts are of different ages, from ancient Libyco-Berber up to present day evidence. 

The Tifinagh inscriptions are widespread throughout the Sahara and North Africa, attested also in the Canary islands. Tifinagh texts are very hard to decipher, often consisting in short messages. 

However, the Acacus mts have proven to include a veritable archive of long texts as well, set in clear connections with major feature of the terrain, such as mountain passageways and water points, and configure as an endangered and still poorly studied element of the archaeological and historical landscape.

Recording Tifinagh inscriptions 
in northern Tadrart Acacus
by means of minicrane

Learn more

Ait Kaci, A. 2007. Recherche sur l'ancêtre des alphabets libyco-berbères. Libyan Studies 38:13-37.

Biagetti, S., A. Ait Kaci, L. Mori, and S. di Lernia. 2012. Writing the desert. The ‘Tifinagh’ rock inscriptions of the Tadrart Acacus (south-west Libya). Azania 47:153-174.