Friday, January 20, 2006

Prehistoric Sahara teeming with life

This may be of interest to anyone interested in the prehistory of the Western Desert of Egypt, with many of the same conclusions being drawn here for Libya, as have been drawn by a number of research groups in the Western Desert: "The Sahara has not always been the arid, inhospitable place that it is today – it was once a savannah teeming with life, according to researchers at the Universities of Reading and Leicester. Eight years of studies in the Libyan desert area of Fazzan, now one of the harshest, most inaccessible spots on Earth, have revealed swings in its climate that have caused considerably wetter periods, lasting for thousands of years, when the desert turned to savannah and lakes provided water for people and animals. This, in turn, has given us vital clues about the history of humans in the area and how these ancient inhabitants coped with climate change as the land began to dry up around them again. In their article ‘Ancient lakes of the Sahara’, which appears in the January-February issue of American Scientist magazine, Dr Kevin White of the University of Reading and Professor David Mattingly of the University of Leicester explain how they used satellite technology and archaeological evidence to reveal new clues about both the past environment of the Sahara and of human prehistory in the area".
See the full article on the Innovations Report website for the full story.

For those interested in the original paper, the American Scientist's website is at:

No comments: