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Paper: Orientation and Distribution of Various Dry Stone Monuments of the Sahara
Volume: 409, Cosmology Across Cultures
Page: 317
Authors: Gauthier, Y.
Abstract: Stone monuments are important cultural markers and as such help to deciphers the population pattern and its variations through ages. Since it covers millions of square kilometres and very different geographic environments, various groups, with possibly different monuments and rites, are expected to have occupied the Sahara. The situation is quite different on either side of the Ténéré (Niger). Except for the Tibesti mountains, monuments are almost totally absent beyond 16°E, and at least 95% are registered west of this line. While some of these stone monuments have a narrow distribution area, others, on the contrary, are known from the Ténéré (Niger) to the Atlantic Ocean. Data compiled for eight different types reveal different orientation rules with time and location. The “keyhole” monuments seem to have a luni-solar alignment as opposed to a the random distribution for rectangular tumuli for instance. The number of monuments registered so far is large enough for regional analyses in order to detect possible space variations.
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