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Thousands of years ago, when the paintings were made, the land was fruitful, covered with forests and crossed by rivers alive with fish.
The style of the pictures is naturalistic, animated, and entirely different both from the conventionalised Libyan-Berber style, and from the early naturalistic, group of the Atlas.
There is a strong similarity between the Ahagger paintings and Bushman art, and, in addition they have a striking resemblance to the art of Ancient Egypt.
European art frequently uses symbols that are immediately meaningful to educated people - symbols of Christ, the saints, historical episodes.The Prehistoric Colour Palette used by Bushmen artists in their cave painting consisted of earth pigments.Red and brown from bole or heematite; yellow from iron ochre; white from zinc oxide; black from charcoal or soot; blue from iron and silicic acid.To the south-west of this region, the French Ahagger expedition discovered in 1935 another site with the same kind of polychrome wall-paintings, showing various animals, but chiefly cattle.
A few human figures are distinguished by extraordinarily animated and often graceful movements.(For a guide to symbols used at Blombos, please see: Prehistoric Abstract Signs 40,000-10,000 BCE.) Bushmen are the oldest known natives of South Africa, although exactly when they appeared, and how far their history dates back, remains a mystery.It is not even certain if it was their ancestors who were responsible for the pictographs and petroglyphs which have been found at various prehistoric sites in the country.The Bushmen were driven back into the desert areas, not only by the white man, but also by the Hottentot invaders.