Tassili n'Ajjer (Berber: "plateau of chasms") is a mountain range in the Sahara desert in southeast Algeria. The majority of the range is protected in a National park, Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, named the Tassili n'Ajjer National Park. The area also has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world, comprising over 15,000 drawings and engravings which record the climatic changes, animal migrations and the progress of human life on the edge of the Sahara from 6000 B.C. to the first centuries of the Christian era. The geological formations, with eroded sandstone forming "forests of rock" are of outstanding scenic interest. Although continuously settled for 8000 years, the population, made up of the nomadic Kel Ajjer Twareg, is sparse, currently (2008) being at most 1,000.
Considered to represent "a masterpiece of human creative genius", and to be "an outstanding example of a... landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history", UNESCO listed the site in 1982.
- UNESCO Site entry. Accessed 13 January 2008
- Philip Coppens The Tassili n’Ajjer: birthplace of ancient Egypt? Accessed 13 January 2008.