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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Part I - Burial Practices in the Central Sahara


The previous chapter introduced the Garamantes, an ancient Saharan people, whose story can be traced archaeologically through the first millennium BC and first millennium AD (see also Figs 1.1and 1.2 for location maps). This chapter presents evidence on the funerary practices of the Garamantian heartlands in the Wadi al-Ajal in the Libyan Fazzan (Central Sahara). The Wadi al-Ajal is a long and thin oasis depression running for c.150 km from al-Abyad (to the south-west of Fazzan’s modern capital at Sabha) to Ubari. Our work has been particularly focused on the area around Jarma (ancient Garama, the Garamantian capital about 40 km east of Ubari). The burials in these Garamantian heartlands differ in certain significant ways from those recorded by the Italian mission at Aghram Nadharif and Fewet, and an interesting aspect of the discussion we shall develop below seeks to explain this difference.