Tassili N'Ajjer, Algeria

Tassili n'Ajjer National Park IUCN Category II (National Park) Location Tamanrasset Province, Algeria Coordinates 25°10′″N 8°10′″E / Expression error: Unexpected / operator, Expression error: Unexpected / operator Area 72,000 km² Established 1972

The range is composed largely of sandstone. Erosion in the area has resulted in nearly 300 natural rock arches being formed, along with many other spectacular landforms.

Because of the altitude and the water-holding properties of the sandstone, the vegetation is somewhat richer than the surrounding desert; it includes a very scattered woodland of the endangered endemic species Saharan Cypress and Saharan Myrtle in the higher eastern half of the range.

The ecology of the Tassili n'Ajjer is more fully described in the article West Saharan montane xeric woodlands, the ecoregion to which this area belongs. The literal English translation of "Tassili n'Ajjer" is 'Plateau of the rivers'; indicating a time when the climate was repeatedly far more wet than today

Prehistoric art
The range is also noted for its prehistoric rock paintings and other ancient archaeological sites, dating from neolithic times when the local climate was much moister, with savannah rather than desert. The art depicts herds of cattle, large wild animals including crocodiles, and human activities such as hunting and dancing. The art has strong stylistic links to the pre-Nguni Art of South Africa and the region, executed in caves by the San Peoples before the year 1200 CE.

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