Hassaï and Ariab Archaeological survey (1994-2000)

At the request of the mining company Ariab Mining Co., the SFDAS conducted a reconnaissance mission in the region surrounding the mine in order to identify the archaeological sites that could be threatened at short term by mining activities. This reconnaissance enabled them to identify several sites:

Ganaet: this quarry site located on a gebel presents dry stone constructions (settlements/workshops) with many grinding stones with a central perforation. The settlement is connected with the work areas linked to the quarries. There are two sorts of constructions, round or square, formed by a low wall made of two worked stone panels and filled with various materials. This type of installation reminds us of the Christian constructions in Nubia. The quarries are very narrow cavities that follow the veins and go deeply into the ground.

- Gurad: in the plain, this area shows many tombs and an important settlement as well as quarries located on adjoining outcrops.
- Khor Tidityu and Bir Ajam: this area provides many settlement structures and a succession of funerary tumuli made of dry stone. A series of small figurines had been discovered near Bir Ajam and had been presented in 1993 in the Genava journal. A geologist from the BRGM, who had seen the site years ago, says that the figurines formed a kind of cone. He also mentions the top part of a probable kiln, with charcoals. The figurines would have scattered from the kiln along the slope. A C14 dating made by the BRGM on the charcoals has dated the structure to 1200 (± 100) BP.
- Taladeirut: burial and settlement zone. A dry stone tumulus, located on one of the future mining sites, was excavated. Its material indicates a dating later than the 4th century BC.
- Shashatilo: Prehistoric settlement site at the foot of a rocky crest covered with rock engravings dating from different periods (pastoralism, camelids, etc.).
- Hamin Rawaï: gebel offering the same sort of rock engravings as Shashatilo, as well as evidence of wildlife.

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Taladeirut. Graves.

article published on 17 January 2016

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