Rock Engraving

The Souss Massa's Arts of Rock Engraving

Several rock engravings sites in the Souss Massa Region demonstrate human presence in the region since the dawn of time. The most important ones are located in Tata Province, specifically between Jbel Bani and Oued Drâa. 

These prehistoric artistic marvels, in the shape of figures, drawings, and even symbols, speak of life in the verdant savannah that existed there more than 6,000 years ago.

Traveling through Bani-Draa region, you will go on a timeless adventure, uncovering mysterious remains and their stories from the region’s Neolithic period.

An open-air museum

The journey begins near Akka, around 60 kilometers from Tata. 

You will have easy access to a broad stretch of desert from the village of Oum El Alek, which has a significant number of engravings dating back to the era of the hunter-gatherers. These illustrations of bovids, elephants, rhinos, and ostriches are distinguished by their thin fine lines. We also see humanoid figures with bows and arrows, which are concrete representation of the people’ principal activity: hunting.

The same style can be seen at Adrar Metgourine, considerably difficult to reach. This spot is located north of Akka. These engravings, which are numerous than the previous ones, are gathered on an islet overhanging the rocky plain. In addition to savannah fauna, the slabs have spiral and axe designs.

At the edge of Jbel Bani

You can also go to Ait Ouabelli, which is southwest of Akka. The village has access to the Assif Tadakoust, a remarkably rich site with over 200 engraved slabs spread around, as well as tumulus, astonishing pre-Islamic funerary monuments. The drawings, which date back to the fifth millennium BC, represent the savannah’s fauna as well as fishing traps and other geometric patterns. In Ait Ouabelli, you can also explore the sites of Bazt and Taheouast, which are set in a huge dry plain.

The slabs blend in perfectly with the mineral environment and are frequently difficult to recognize. Furthermore, the sites are typically off-road and require an all-terrain vehicle to reach. Reach out to a professional guide to get the most out of the experience.

Exploration continues north of Foum El Hisn, specifically in the Tamanart Valley, along the N12 national road. A true open-air museum, with paintings engraved on the valley walls. These illustrations are almost related to the Bovidian period and represent Bani-Draa’s pastoral history.

Other sites in the region are less rich in engravings but equally rich in information. It is worth mentioning the following sites: Tissint, Tamgdoulte near Ait Baha, and the mythical Gazelle of Tazekka at the foot of Tafraout.


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