Agricultural Knowledge and Skills in the Sedentary Communities in the Tassili n’Ajjer (Algeria/Libya)

This study of agricultural knowledge and skills in the Tassili n’Ajjer (Algeria, Libya) will essentially rely on two important elements:

  1. Oral traditions of contemporary populations, particularly the sedentary ones.
  2. All kinds of agricultural knowledge and know-how.

Orally obtained data will be completed by the inexhaustible testimonies reported by Herodotus in the fifth century BC (Book IV), as well as by some of the comments they have received from other historians.

Agricultural work processes and the know-how belonging to them testify to the ancient roots that the material culture of sedentary groups in the Tassili n’Ajjer may have. Close links between these groups and the Garamantes on the one hand and the Mediterranean civilizations on the other are becoming increasingly probable. In this context, the following research fields seem to be particularly promising:

  1. Knowledge and know-how related to the development of agricultural land and the status of land tenure among sedentary peoples of Tassili n’Ajjer.
  2. Knowledge and know-how related to cereals.
  3. Knowledge and know-how related to date palms.
  4. Changes in agricultural work and land tenure status as a result of current mutations.

In working on these fields of research, two central ideas can always be retrieved: firstly, it is significant that this knowledge and know-how is very old and deeply rooted in the local. Secondly, there is a striking similarity in the way ownership of land and political power are both passed down through the female line. Both ideas have a strong connection to the local, a concept that will be central to this research.