In North Africa, archaeologists have found the missing link in one of the most enigmatic ancient civilizations. During the preparation of the operation against Gaddafi, NATO troops conducted satellite imagery in Libya, and after the introduction of no-fly space made using aerial photography aircraft – drones. In deciphering images military analysts have paid attention not only to the positions of forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, but also some strange objects in the central Sahara. According to one theory, the purpose of NATO intelligence was unique desert irrigation system, called Gadhafi “the eighth wonder of the world.” From 1983 to 2010, the Libyan leader has spent 30 billion dollars on the construction of a grand water pipeline length of more than two thousand kilometers. And the central elements are four huge underground reservoir, discovered earlier in the Sahara. Experts have established that tanks and striking the imagination of the irrigation system – a legacy of the ancient African civilization of white people that existed in the XI century BC to the middle of the first millennium after Christ. Information about the water reserves of the country Gaddafi closed, considering it strategic. After all, the water in the desert can cost several orders of magnitude more expensive than oil. Now, after the change of power in Libya, the Western policy of trying to make his interest to the eighth wonder of the world scientific shade. Immediately after the end of the NATO operation, British archaeologists from the University of Leicester said that with the help of satellite images, they found footprints in the sands of the Sahara of some ancient settlements. Moreover, the structure more like castles than conventional homes. Pre-dating allowed researchers to suggest that these settlements were built and used by approximately 1 to 500 AD. But striking is not even the age and scale of development, uncharacteristic for the nomads that lived once in the northern Sahara. Locks such complexes have been carefully planned and built according to a single plan, which clearly indicates the existence of these places a highly developed civilization. One of British archaeologists, Dr Martin Sterry, believes that the research team was able to find previously unknown traces of a mysterious country Garamantidy. Grains were thrown into fertile soil, because despite the fact that research in this area have been conducted since 1933, so far little is known about the culture and lifestyle Garamantes – the people who inhabited these lands. It is also interesting that some researchers believe that Garamantes – the descendants of the legendary Atlantis. For what it’s such an honor?
People with no name
Strange, but even unknown self of the people. Garamantes them, in all probability, he called the Greeks, and this is the name used by the Romans. According to ancient mythology, these people were descendants of Garam, the son of Apollo and the princess of Akakallid sent to Libya on the orders of her father, King Minos of Crete. There are other hypotheses. On one of them it was the tribe temehu formerly dwelt in the western part of the Great Desert. Another hypothesis states that Garamantes descended from the ancient inhabitants of Palestine to raid Egypt. There is an assumption that they are residents of the oasis of Siwa, who went into the desert to escape the militant Persians. It is also believed that Garamantes belonged to the white race and the Mediterranean were either Aegeans or Sardis or the Etruscans, who invaded North Africa in the XII-X centuries BC. In favor of Mediterranean origin like say rock paintings, previously found in the area, which depicts the chariot. This style is characteristic of Mycenaean art. And the design depicted in the frescoes similar to that of chariots chariots Aegeans. Nevertheless, none of the versions of the roots Garamantes is, alas, does not explain how they reached an all-time high for the time of development. Data Garamantes scientists drew mainly from the accounts of Greek and Roman historians. They imply that the heart of Garamantida was Al Adzhal Valley, where there were numerous settlements and garam itself – the last capital of the ancient state, on the spot where now stands the village of Germi. Until now, al-Adzhal – is stretching 400 kilometers from east to west blooming valley through which the small villages scattered palm plantations, wells. Historians suggest that by about 150 AD Garamantida area was 180 thousand square kilometers – roughly covers the territory of Belarus.
The miracle of civilization
As archaeologists suggest one of the main occupations of the population Garamantidy was farming and gardening oasis. They grew wheat, figs, olives, grapes. And in this there would be nothing unusual, if to irrigate their land not ancient people built the most powerful irrigation system, similar to that centuries later skillfully used Gaddafi. “From the mountain chain stretching barely noticeable mounds, – says a leading researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Candidate of Historical Sciences Alexey Podtserob. – It comes in foggary – underground galleries, drained aquifers moisture and directs it to the oases. ” Using foggar possible to avoid very significant water losses in the desert by evaporation. Their construction required precise engineering calculations and careful execution. The fact that the entire length of foggary was observed and even though very little elevation change, literally millimeters. It is not known how much work it was supposed to, and what kind of knowledge used in the construction of tunnels, but the length of each of them is a few kilometers away. In addition, all work was done by hand clearly. In the valley of Al-Adzhalov researchers counted about 200 foggar, two of them continued to function even in the middle of the last century. At the same time, according to archaeologist Mohammed Ayub Sulaiman, “area irrigated foggarami, 3-4 times higher than the amount of land cultivated at present.” Where there is water, there is life. Now we can assume that it is the possession of this vital resource Garamantes allowed to become a link between the peoples inhabiting the vast territory, adjacent to the Great Sahara desert. “It is these people, – says Alexey Podtserob – established trans-Saharan trade.” Historians do not know the name of the conductor, who spent the first caravan across the Sahara, however perfect it is comparable in importance with the discovery of the sea route around Africa, and he deserves the same admiration of posterity, as Vasco da Gama. Of particular importance was the route passes through wilderness and connects the Atlantic coast with Egypt, Arabia and the countries of the Levant, which, according to Herodotus, was set up a chain of wells, defended from each other on ten days’ journey. “Through the use of this road could lead Punicians long war with the Greeks and then the Romans, avoiding the blockade in an environment where the sea were fighting, and the coastal path appeared cut off the enemy” – continues to Alexei Podtserob. Caravans, each of which had several hundred of pack and saddle animals, passed by thousands of kilometers of the Sahara. On the Mediterranean coast and the islands of the Greek archipelago in tropical Africa delivered fabrics, textiles, vegetable oil, wine, metal products, weapons. From Western Sudan caravans transported to Carthage, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Egypt and Syria, golden sand, silver, ivory, precious stones, ostrich feathers and eggs, precious wood, slaves, exotic animals. From caravan fees and taxes on palm, salt and trade the markets, as well as state monopolies Garamantida annually receives funds that are comparable with the budget of some modern African states. Because of all this, probably, and it has become a unique phenomenon for the antiquity – a distinctive civilization that arose in the desert. Only Palmyra was only an analogue of the country. Scientists believe that it was introduced Garamantes peoples of tropical Africa with the knowledge and technical achievements of the civilized world. Romans, they talked about the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and Roman geographers recorded in the works of this information, which was later, in the Age of Discovery, used European travelers.
From dawn to dusk
Sunset of Garamantida was long and painful. At the beginning of our era the country after many attempts conquered by the Romans, turned the country into a vassal, and in the year 355, when the Roman Empire began to droop, it invaded the Donatists – members of a religious movement against the official Christianity. After fifty years the country was attacked by Berbers – their time, it was the epoch of destruction. In the V century Garamantida regained its independence, but not for long. In 642 the capital once glorious state moved the army, which consisted of the 1,600 Arabs, inspired by the newly emerged Islam. They appear, and finally destroyed the country, looting it to the ground. But not decided the fate of looting Garamantid’s final. It was repeatedly plundered before. The Arabs destroyed the political structure garamant society: the king was taken to Egypt, deputies killed or captured, and the army destroyed. And what happened to the people themselves? He, like historians suggest mingled with other peoples. For example, there is a version that Garamantes participated in the formation of the Tuareg tribes. Eventually Garamantida sank deeper and deeper into the past, of her memory erased. But preserved the legend of being in the center of the desert state of existing there mysterious civilization. “Perhaps echoes of these legends have prompted the French writer Pierre Benoit write a novel” Atlantis “, which refers to the descendants of the Atlanteans, living in inaccessible areas of the Sahara”, – says Alexei Podtserob. At least now there is hope that scientists will pay attention not only to the history and culture of this wonderful people, but also on the attainment of knowledge, by which Garamantes able to irrigate the desert and create oases in it. Today, at least something similar to this on the African continent can not be done to anyone. Perhaps the secret of how to turn the desert into a blooming valley, kept in letters accompanying the petroglyphs Garamantes made ancient Libya alphabet? While these labels are not able to decipher. One hope for the British scientists.
David Mattingly, professor of Roman archeology at the University of Leicester, UK head of the research group:
– There has been roughly the same as if someone came to England and suddenly found there all the medieval castles. These settlements did not notice and did not record at the Gaddafi regime. Our project involved the study of the Libyan Department of Antiquities, which was under a lot of pressure under the previous regime. Now the European Research Council gave us a grant of 2.5 million euros, and we will continue to work together with Libyan counterparts. I think this is a great chance for the people of the country to study their own history, long withheld from him. We actually found the city that were not the colonial appendages of the Greeks and Romans, and found that Garamantida was a well-organized state with towns and settlements, script, and a whole set of artistic techniques. I am sure Garamantes should become the central characters in the history of this state, which will teach students.
Sergey Voronin, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of General History of the Russian Peoples’ Friendship University:
– Mysterious Garamantes often become the object of political speculation and hoaxes. In my opinion, the statement of British experts from the University of Leicester – this information canard. In Libya paid the utmost attention to the study of the history of the country. In Jeremy (Garam) is an open-air museum of ancient buildings Garamantes (looted by rebels during the fighting -. “Results”). Archaeological research conducted here since the 30-ies of XX century, when the expedition arrived in Libya German Africanist Frobenius. Therefore, it seems that the British are trying to reinvent the wheel and nothing new in Libya were found. And all the fuss is likely flared up because of technology and heritage, strange as it may sound, this ancient civilization. And it is not cultural, namely technology. Garamantes really managed to create a highly developed civilization and possessed advanced technology. It is believed that the level of development of medicine allows them to do surgery craniotomy. However, their most unique invention is constructed water supply system, to draw water from the underground rivers of the Sahara. Since ancient heritage Garamantes formed the basis of a unique modern design. Apparently, now with the help of satellite navigation is studied just Gaddafi water system and not “lock” Garamantes. Pragmatic policies thus covered good intentions of studying the cultural heritage of ancient civilization.