The Dabous Giraffes, Niger: World's Largest Rock Art

Updated: Jun 2



The Giraffes of Dabous are part of a series of Neolithic petroglyphs by an unknown author found in the Ténéré desert in Niger. They were completed between 9000 and 5000 BC and first documented by David Coulson in 1997 while traveling with a photographic expedition through Niger. They had been discovered ten years earlier in the Tuareg region of Niger by Christian Dupuy.


The reliefs stand about 6 meters high and consist of two giraffes carved into a place called Dabous Rock, in great detail, on the sloping side of a small rocky outcrop of sandstone in the lower foothills of the Air Mountains. One giraffe is male, while the other, smaller, is female.


No less than 828 images have been found engraved on the rocks in the surrounding area, of which 704 are animals (bovids, giraffes, ostriches, antelopes, lions, rhinoceroses, and camels), 61 are human, and 159 are indeterminate.


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