Thursday, August 18, 2005

Agoza, Chad, Africa - Ancient Ruins

I received an inquiry relating to Agoza which indicated that I needed to post some more information about it. Agoza is merely the site of ancient ruins which have thus far not been dated.

For background, see my postings at
and Archaeopundit

Please note that Arabic Qasr means "fortification" and that this word was used to mark ancient border points. Qasr has become Agoza by loss of the ending r, i.e. QAS-r = aGOZa.

Agoza is located in the Ennedi region, where ancient prehistoric rock art has been found.

As noted at that website link, which also has a nice clickable map of "archaeology in Africa", parts of this region of Africa and the Darb El Arba'in Desert are among the least explored regions of our planet, but we do have evidence of nearby prehistoric habitation....

The ruins at Agoza are referred to at

VioVio Travel


The location of Agoza is given here.

Note that there are some differences in latitude for the location of Agoza given by the various soruces.

A map of the actual location resolves the issue, showing that Agoza is above 18° north latitutde.

The ruins are located near the mountain of Tagoulicha

and the Depression du Mourdi.

The larger area involved is called the Erdi Plateau.

The Erdi Plateau is interesting because it represents the highest latitude at which the African lion has been found.

"The extreme latitudes of the lion range are:Highest latitudes- Northern HemisphereThe African lion has been extirpated from all the former high latitudes where it used to live, both in the Northern (North Africa) and Southern Hemisphere (the Cape). Rock paintings also attest to the former presence of lion deep inside what is now the Sahara Desert. The famous Theodore Monod reported in Northern Chad that a lion was shot in 1927 in the region of Erdi Dji (as far North as 19°N, just where the 3 borders Chad, Libya, Sudan meet), and another lion was shot in 1940 near Mourdi (18°30'N) (Smithers, 1983). Now lions are still present in Central Africa up to 15°N (Hoinathy Honimadji, pers. comm.; J. Tubiana, pers. comm.). The Northernmost lion populations are probably:(i)The few remaining individuals of Boucle du Baoulé National Park in Mali (if they still exist);(ii)The small relict population of Kapka mountain range, a non-gazetted area in North-Eastern Chad (the Ennedi mountain range seems to have lost its lion population), and;(iii)The population of Dinder National Park, Sudan, and of the neighbouring area in Ethiopia."

Where the current borders of Chad, Libya and Sudan meet is just a bit north of Agoza, what we consider to be the ancient border point for this region of Africa. These modern borders are not quite accurate.

There is also an ancient ruin at Qunianga Kebir (Qunianga Serir) to the northwest, of which a photo exists.

Very interesting.

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