In October 2015, A2 members followed an invitation for a field trip in the Ennedi massif of NE Chad. Main purpose was the evaluation by experts of IUCN and ICOMOS of the proposal to get the “Garden Eden of the Sahara” listed as natural and cultural UNESCO World Heritage site. This project has been initiated by Stefan Kröpelin and Baba Mallaye, main partner of cooperative research since 1999. It is part of efforts in return for the country’s unparalleled support of palaeoclimatic and geoarchaeological field research within CRCs 389 and 806.
Research-wise, observations and sampling sites included Lac Ajous, a yet unstudied saltwater lake in the Ennedi’s northwestern foreland; the hidden Guelta Maya on the plateau which has been sampled for isotopic studies; notable ancient to recent iron smelting sites; little known rock art which helps in the interpretation of enigmatic features; Holocene pottery and MSA lithic artefacts; various geological and geomorphological land marks including the canyons of Bechikele, Archei and Nou Chero, or the planet’s second highest natural rock arch, Aloba. Moreover, preparations for the forthcoming field campaign in the Tibesti have been pushed forward.
Guelta Maya, a solitary ecological niche featuring permanent water, lush vegetation and relict wildlife such as baboons.
Photo: Stefan Kröpelin
|Mission members with helicopter provided by the Chadian government.
Photo: Adam Polczyk