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DMP X: Survey and Landscape Conservation Issues around the Tāqallit headland

  • David Mattingly (a1), Salah al-Aghab (a2), Muftah Ahmed (a1) (a2), Farès Moussa (a3), Martin Sterry (a1), Andrew Wilson (a4), Franca Cole (a5), Victoria Leitch (a4), Anita Radini (a1), Toby Savage (a1), Katia Schörle (a4) and Djuke Veldhuis (a5)...

Abstract

Survey by the DMP Burials and Identity team around the Tāqallit headland in 2009–2010 has revealed in exceptional detail a well-preserved Garamantian landscape, comprising extensive cemeteries, foggara irrigation systems and numerous oasis settlements. However, this remarkable survival of the Garamantian landscape was found in 2010 to be under direct and imminent threat of destruction. This report describes the landscape features recorded and the steps taken to try to preserve the evidence from obliteration in the face of modern agricultural development. Important new information was recorded about the date and furnishing of some key types of Proto-Urban tombs, linking with a refined view of the relationship of these cemeteries to contemporary foggara construction and the creation of pioneer farming settlement in the Tāqallit region. Significant additional details of the foggara systems were recorded through a combination of satellite image interpretation, surface observation and selective descent into rock-cut shafts. The discovery of an unexpected number of ancient settlements and structures of Garamantian date represents another major achievement of the work. The composite picture of the Garamantian landscape encompassing cemeteries, foggaras and settlements is arguably the most complete yet recorded in the FP/DMP work.

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