Looking for petroglyphs in the desert!
We are exploring the area near the city Akka. Somewhere here there should be some great petroglyphs or stone carvings. We take off from the main road and drive into the village Oum el Alek. It’s a sleepy little village and it takes some time before we find someone we can ask for directions. An old man in his kaftan and the traditional Berber scarf is sitting outside a small shop looking at everything and nothing. Our driver asks him for directions and the old man is pointing out into the desert.
I am glad we are driving a 4×4, I think as we are driving into the big emptiness. No signs suggest that there might be many thousand years old petroglyphs here. – They are supposed to be just here, our driver says as we stop in the middle of nothing. We are all very skeptical.
So we have to start looking. We walk from stone to stone. We stare and stare. Suddenly Per shouts; I have found one, it looks like an antelope! Everyone gathers around the stone and sure, it’s a great petroglyph. And it`s just very exiting to have to find it by yourself. We are like children again and are running happy from stone to stone. Soon it is a competition for whom can find the next petroglyphs.
We find quite a few eventually. Many antelope kind of animals, something we believe to be a bird, shapes looking like Kasbahs and definitely a rhino. We also find stones with fossils. But we are wondering why this place has no signs; it could have been a great tourist attraction.
Before we went on this expedition to Morocco, my father told me that Morocco is situated in a belt with many Petroglyphs. I tried to find out about this on the net for days without luck. It was very difficult to find out their location. I did find some images of great and impressive petroglyphs, but I had no idea of where to go to see them. When in Morocco, I tried to find out more still without any luck. The tourist board dos not promote this and most people don’t know about it. Perhaps with the exception of the petroglyph The Divine Sun in Toubkal National Park. In 2010 it was said that fanatics damaged the 8000-year-old Divine Sun Petroglyph. Moroccan authorities denied this. Even about this great and beautiful petroglyph is hard to fid relevant information.
I had hoped to find and see many more petroglyphs in Morocco. But it was a lot of fun to go on an expedition on our one in the desert. It was like being part of An Indiana Jones movie!
Akka is situated between TaTa and Guelmim along N12. A bit further south is Aït-Ouabelli, a small town in a beautiful oasis. Guelmim is also called the gate to the Desert, as are many other cities in Morocco!