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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cooperation or conflict? Identity and scarce resources of prehistoric Saharan pastoralists
Author:Lenssen-Erz, TilmanISNI
Periodical:African Study Monographs (ISSN 0285-1601)
Geographic term:Chad
natural resources
rock art
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/2433/197194
Abstract:Nomadic or transhumant pastoralists in the Ennedi Highlands in north eastern Chad have always had to cope with scarce resources. When the region was first made use of bypastoralists circa 3000 BC, aridification had already started. Despite progressing aridification, the landscape was used for herding cattle and goats, and later also for keeping horses and camels in the following millennia. Hundreds of rock art sites are witness to this appropriation.While demographic data are still missing, it appears that comparatively intense dwelling activities inevitably put pressure on the scarce resources. In the art motifs from the last five millenniaa fine-grained regionalization is expressed, indicating that in rather small neighbouring spatial units different identities were manifested, notwithstanding the common economic base. Different rock art traditions articulate different appropriation of the landscape by mapping markers of identity onto the land. Rock art depicts an ambiguous portrait of the social relations among the groups within the area since there are indications of cooperation on the one hand, whereas on the other hand many pictures of mounted warriors and numerous 'sentinel' figures point at the potential for conflict - yet without ever depicting it. [Journal abstract]