Secrets of the Frescos in Tassili n’Ajjer

Tassili n'Ajjer

The region of the Sahara Desert wasn’t always the way it looks today. It was once covered with greenery, and cool waters flowed throughout the land.

But there were also paleo-astronauts, or in other words, creatures that do not fit into the image we have created in our minds of what humans look like. Evidence of this are the incredible frescos of Tassili n’Ajjer in Central Sahara and Algeria.


The first discoveries of the stone illustration in Sahara were made some time ago – in the middle of the 19th century to be exact. Researchers have mentioned multiple times of the illustrations they have seen of people and animals, and scenes depicting fishing and hunting, and unknown rituals, masterfully carved in boulders.

The frescos are even proof that, once upon a time, Sahara was home to steppe flora and fauna, heavy rains, and rivers rich with lush vegetation. Even the name, Tassili, means “river plateau”.

We know almost nothing of the lost Sahara civilization that left for us not temples or other structures, but only caves full of illustrations.


And the frescos bear a different meaning for everyone. Ecologists see proof of a mild and favorable climate in ancient Sahara, while zoologists see animals which now only exist in regions with heavy rain, rivers and lakes – such as crocodiles or hippopotamuses, for example. And historians see concrete evidence of cattle farming of a mysterious civilization, among numerous puzzles practically bordering with fantasy.

It is obvious that the Sahara civilization developed alongside the powerful civilizations of Egypt, India, and ancient China. However, unlike those great civilizations, the one in Sahara didn’t survive as long – it only lasted for about 1 000 years before the people had to surrender forever to the merciless sands, leaving only cave illustrations behind.

The frescos of Tassili n’Ajjer can pass for the largest gallery in the world, stretching for hundreds of kilometers. The illustrations have been perfectly preserved which would mean that, once, the climate was dry and continuously prevented winds from destroying them. And the rust that has piled on top of the illustrations points to their age. They are at least 7 000 years old.


The oldest among the drawings are of exaggerated large, rounds heads and appear to be very schematic. The style of these illustrations is called “round-heads”. After some time, the images evolved – bodies became longer, purple paint was replaced by red and yellow, however, the form of the heads still remained circular. It was as if the artists had seen something that caught their attention. That “something” in the illustrations appeared in the form fantastic creatures of incredible sizes.

It is important to mention that the mysterious African tribe “Tuaregs” calls the region of Tassili n’Ajjer, “Djabaren” – meaning “giants”. They might have used the name because of the gigantic illustrations, or because giants actually did inhabit the area at one point in time.

French explorer, Henri Lhote should be given credit for the discovery of the incredible frescos. It was he who told the world of the fantastic drawings of Tassili. Lhote named one of the illustrations “The great God of the Martians” – one of the largest of prehistoric paintings, reaching a height of 6 meters (19.6 feet).


Ufologists were very excited when they laid eyes on the illustration – this “God” very closely resembled a paleo-astronaut in a space suit. „The Martian” was a man with a circular head, with a double oval in the center. What else could it be if not a space helmet, with antennae, which are clearly seen on the drawing? And the strange connection of the head with the body – the fully connected neck with horizontal folds – shows that the creature is probably wearing a space suit.

Skeptics immediately disproved the hypothesis and explained that the drawing clearly depicts a priest with ceremonial clothing and a carved pumpkin on his head. But they weren’t able to clearly explain the strange neck, and they didn’t pay much attention to it. And at the same time, a copy of the Martian giant was discovered at the other end of the world – on the Japanese archipelago.

The famous Dogū figurines from the culture of Jōmon are very similar to the Sahara illustration of the ancient astronaut Gods”. And their age is the same as the illustrations of Tassili n’Ajjer. It’s as if ancient astronauts visited several places on Earth at the same time.


There are “portraits” of “round-heads” in Australia as well. Upriver of Prince Regent River, there are illustrations of creatures with round heads, which somehow resemble a motorcycle helmet, or that of an astronaut – with a typical ring around the neck, similar to an airtight strip.

Among the illustrations of Tassili n’Ajjer, there are not only depictions of “Martian Gods”, but of unknown creatures as well. As Henri Lhote writes: “The drawings are a bit smaller, but still make a big impression because of the thought-out way they have been placed and the strange poses of each.“

„We got frightened in the first gallery, when we saw a drawing that was about 3 meters (10 feet) tall. In its raised hand, there was an object, with the form of an egg.

We were able to distinguish illustrations of women reaching their hands towards the giant, as if begging him for something…There is something strange in each of the figures, and that made us call our new discovery ‘the sand monster’.“


In one of the caves of Tassili n’Ajjer, there is a drawing of an enormous figure with a…square head. On the “face” of the creature there is something similar to blinds, and instead of ears – obviously antennae. And what’s most interesting is that this monster has a tail. Ufologists believe that the fresco is depicting an alien robot or just an alien, but from some strange “race”.

According to scientists, this also is an illustration of a shaman in ceremonial clothing. Similar ceremonial robes can be seen among Shamans of Easter Island.

And we cannot go without mentioning yet another mystery of Tassili n’Ajjer. Among the frescos there are illustrations not only of human-like creature, but of hybrids as well – such as an antelope with the body of an elephant, or an ostrich with the face of a lion.

Could a person from the Stone Age, unburdened by surreal fantasies and considered primitive, have created something like that? It doesn’t seem very probable. Ancient artists most likely depicted what they were seeing.