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World Heritage Site

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Tadrart Acacus

Tadrart Acacus

The Rock-art Sites of Tadrart Acacus hold thousands of cave paintings that reflect the way of life of different Saharan civilizations.

They are located in a desert area in western Libya (part of the Sahara). It borders the Algerian World Heritage Site Tassili n'Ajjer.

The paintings date from 12,000 BC to 100 AD and reflect cultural and natural changes in the area. There are paintings and carvings of animals such as giraffes, elephants, ostriches and camels, but also of men and horses. Men are depicted in various daily life situations, for example while making music and dancing.

Map of Tadrart Acacus


  • Cultural

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Site Info

Full name: Rock-art Sites of Tadrart Acacus

Unesco ID: 287

Inscribed: 1985 In Danger

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2016 - In Danger Simultaneously with the four other World Heritage sites of Libya "because of damage caused by the conflict affecting the country and the threat of further damage it poses".
  • 1985 - Inscribed 
  • 1984 - Deferred At request of Libya


The site has 1 locations.

  • Tadrart Acacus


The site has 11 connections.




  • Palaeolithic and Mesolithic: The site also includes the Murzuch desert, which bears traces of the different phases of the Palaeolithic.
  • Neolithic age
  • Mousterian: "Flint tools from the Mousterian period (80,000 years ago) were recovered from hundreds of sites in the valleys of the Acacus."  Link

Human Activity

  • Mummies: The "black Mummy" - a Mummified infant was found in a rock shelter at Uan Muhuggiag in 1958. Carbon dating indicates it predates known Egyptian mummification.


World Heritage Process

  • Inscribed on a single criterion only: iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared


7 community members have visited Tadrart Acacus.