Horse Period including Libyan Warrior Art (Sahara)

This period tends to depict horses and horse-drawn chariots with so-called Libyan Warriors, men often wearing elaborate skin clothing and holding metal weapons such as spears, javelins and sometimes swords. Men’s bodies are often stylised, two triangles joined at their apexes. Images of horse-drawn chariots with standing charioteers gripping reins and wielding whips stretch from southwest Libya to the Atlantic Coast. Horses were probably introduced into Egypt shortly before the Hyksos, using chariots, conquered the ancient Egyptians around 3,700 years ago.

Much later, Romans also used chariots in North Africa. Herodotus describes Garamante warriors of southwest Libya using chariots. Images of chariots on rocks were probably symbols of power. It is unlikely that chariots were driven across the Sahara. The purposes of Horse and Libyan Warrior Art are uncertain, but may reflect control of land areas, or of property, or even a means to overcome spirits (djinns) living in the rocks. Wild animals, especially giraffe, are still shown during this period.

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