National Geographic : 1924 Sep
276 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Ouenat. I visited four and found the water of each cool and of good quality. MYSTERIOUS ROCK CARVINGS It was in Ouenat that I made the most i interesting find of my 2,200-mile journey. SI had heard rumors of the existence of certain pictographs on rocks, so shortly w before 8 o'clock on the evening of our arrival I set out to find them. With a Small contingent of my caravan I traveled Small night and until the next morning at IO o'clock, stopping only for prayers. w After breakfasting on rice, with the in H evitable Bedouin tea, we slept until 4 in Sthe afternoon. Upon waking, I was led by a native to the picture rocks (see illus " tration, page 260). w The animals are rudely drawn, but not z. unskillfully carved. There are lions, gi Sraffes, ostriches, and all kinds of gazelles, Sbut no camels. The carvings are from a l half to a quarter of an inch deep and the S edges of the lines in some instances are considerably weathered. <A. "Who made these?" I asked Mala o kenni, the Tebu. . He expressed the belief that they were the work of the jinn. "For," he added, S "what man can do these things now ?" O What man among the present inhabit : w ants, indeed! xE Here is a puzzle which must be left to Sthe research of archeologists. Suffice it Sto say that there are no giraffes in this . .c part of Africa now, nor do they live in r any similar desert country anywhere. Perhaps even more significant is the Absence of camels from the drawings. If They had been native to the region at the time that the carvings were made, surely This most important beast of the desert Should have been pictured. But the camel s came to Africa from Asia not later than 500 B. C. A Can these carvings antedate that event? o Or has the character of this country un Sdergone such astonishing modification as 8 to have converted into desert a fertile B region in which the giraffe roamed and H the camel was not a familiar burden bearer? w, With the inspection of these rock carv Sings, my hasty exploration of Ouenat was concluded.