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About 9,000 years ago, a very wet climate prevailed in parts of the Sahara Desert called the Neolithic Subpluvial period. Lasting several thousand years, this Green Sahara was home to many grassland and woodland animals as well as humans. While on an expedition for dinosaur fossils with paleontologist Paul Sereno in Niger in 2000, Hettwer discovered a burial area containing hundreds of skeletons from two distinct cultures, each thousands of years old - the Kiffian and Tenerian. Also found in the dry and desolate site were hunting tools, pottery, and bones of large land animals and fish.
The two giraffe, one large male in front of a smaller female, were engraved side by side on the sandstone’s weathered surface. The larger of the two is over 18 feet tall, combining several techniques including scraping, smoothing and deep engraving of the outlines.
TexGiraffes are one of the most commonly depicted animals and there are several theories why these spectacular giraffe panels are so numerous. Some researchers believe that ancient peoples may have domesticated giraffes; others believe that the art expresses a symbolic link between humans and the spirit power of giraffes. Yet another theory is that giraffes were a significant source of food for ancient man.