Site name
Toponym(s) of the site

Uan Amil


The Uan Amil Cave located on the left side of the Wadi Teshuinat’s middle course near its confluence with the Wadi Atkarni. The site was discovered by Fabrizio Mori in 1957 and reproduced on a large canvas, now lost. It is one of the most important rock art sites in the region as it contains wonderfully painted scenes dating to the Pastoral period and probably organized in a unique narrative frame. The paintings also contain reworked Camel and Modern Camel motifs in eight panels located on the cave’s central and left walls. The cave’s state of preservation is critical mainly owing to anthropogenic actions such as repetitive wettings and lootings. At least two fragments of the painted sur- face were deliberately broken off and stolen. The site gave the name to one of the Pastoral sub-styles identified by Mori and typified by a hairstyle similar to some of the modern ones still adopted by the Peul. The Pastoral paintings seem to represent ceremonial, herding hunting, fighting, and domestic scenes.
Panel 1 is the first panel on the left wall and contains the famous “Dressing” and “Hairstyling” scenes. In the first one, two humans flank a third subject wearing a long wide dress. To the right and below the latter scene several humans are styling their hair with an ointment held in a small container while another human is handling an arrow. Slightly below and to the right there is scene composed by an adult "and a child moving towards a group of three figures similar to those in the “Dressing scene”. Below on the left there is a possible domestic scene with three humans near a hut. Further to the right, a compact human group wearing long clothing and holding sticks (or bows and arrows) are moving toward the left in what appears to be a fighting scene. A few red and white cattle located on the right and a pair of red stylized humans complete the panel. On the right, Panel 2 contains only Pastoral subjects and includes a renowned scene: two humans wearing different clothing and headdresses appear to be exchanging goods (perhaps boomerangs and other objects). On the right, a giraffe hunting scene contains the hunted animal at the center flanked by two archers. At the bottom of the panel another group of white clad humans holding bows and arrows is moving to the left; this scene may possibly represent the opponents to the armed group depicted on Panel 1. The last Pastoral scenes are located on the right: Panel 6 includes two domestic representations with two women holding their children inside their huts below a group of white and red cattle resting. The other paintings date to a later phase and are extremely faded. Nonetheless, it is still possible to identify some bitriangular humans painted in red, white, and yellow on three panels. Panels 3 and 5 are located below the giraffe hunting scene and Panel 7 is on the left. The bitriangular humans and red giraffe on Panel 5 cover an older Pastoral scene, now almost invisible. The latter scene comprises a large red human on the left and at least a couple of white and red cows (a possible milking scene). Red camels were painted on the left end side of the cave wall.