Applied research in UNESCO’s Natural Protected Areas (Biosphere Reserves and Geoparks): Morocco – France – Spain)
International UNESCO Centre of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves
6 th Doctoral presentation. Fayssal Lemjidi (UCA) – Supervisor: Ouidad Tebbaa (25th May)
“The rock engravings are a rich raw material, used to write the History. As for the area of the Anti-Atlas (South of Morocco), which is occupied by the Bani mountain and Wadi Draa, contains about 80 rock art sites of great importance. We mention as examples: Adrar Metgourine, Temgart n’Isserdane, Imgrad n’Tayaline and Imaoun.
The High-Atlas is especially known for the Bronze Age engravings, which cover the first and second millennia BC. In certain sites though, the rock art expression spread over longer periods, starting from the end of the Neolithic, and this makes a subject of study which deserve to be studied comparatively from the point of view of Neolithisation.”
The study area where he is working is located around the village of Akka. The rock painting activity has to understand as the heritage that dates the history. One of the objectives is the iconographic study of the rock art of the High Atlas. Another main objective of his research is related with the data of this art in the North Africa and sees what its origin is.
Fayssal thinks that the ways of communication are very important because it is very difficult to cross the mountain at 4000 metres. He defended the idea of the protection and conservation of the rock art because it is very important for the future of the Geopark and its patrimony and, in addition, would increase the geo-tourism of the Zat Valley but, always with the sustainability as a main tool for the tourism development.
The archeological research made us to understand the behaviour of our ancestors. The results of his Thesis are the documentation of 3000 photos of different paintings that could be consulted only for the researchers; it is not an open access. As Fayssal showed us, most of the images are bovine’s paintings; we could see also geometrical figures, metal weapons such as axes and hunters with their weapons. With all the results, Fayssal is going to compare the two areas of his study, the “Anti-Atlas” and the Atlas and then, taking his own conclusions.
The main interest of the two areas is that both have to be documented for any future human activity. Since now, the local people thinks that the man that painted that were Portuguese and the opposite happens in Portugal so, we should work for involving the paintings to the local traditions.
As a final comment, Fayssal said that in the future Geopark we should preserve the patrimony under control against the human or natural degradation.
Opening questions to Fayssal Lemjidi presentation :
Yi Du (MNHN): “You have talked about that the photos that you took are reserved for the researchers.”
Fayssal Lemjidi (UCA): “For now, it is all mine but when I finished the Thesis I will published it. We are going to debate later about to share the iconology knowledge. We don’t want to put it online for anyone could take it at his/her home.”
Eloi Guerrero (UAB): “What sort of methods do you use for date the paintings and how you will protect it against the general public and against the Black market?”
Fayssal Lemjidi (UCA): “We can date with the comparison with all the relative information of other ages. Regarding the protection, one of the main objectives is having an exhaustive data for presenting a protection document of the High Atlas.”
Prof. Ouidad Tebbaa (UCA): “In the Morocco is one of the greatest problems, the preservartion of this patrimony. The data base is fundamental.”