Situated in southern Libya is a remarkable, dried out river valley, the Wadi Matkhandoush.
At first sight, although the valley looks rather insignificant, it actually contains a unique treasure of Mankind, a treasure that lay hidden for thousands of years until Italian archaeologist and palaeontologist Fabrizio Mori discovered many fascinating carvings in the region's rocks.
Most of the images date back to the Bubalus epoch, which is easily recognizable due to the depictions of the 'Old Buffalo' that are related to the Cape Buffalo of today.
Why the early inhabitants of the desert mountains of Akakus carved images of the indigenous wildlife into so many rock walls of the river valley remains a mystery. Even so, their creators must have been extremely diligent as tens of thousands of their images have been catalogued.
The countless rock paintings make the dried out river valley look like a huge open air museum that features all five periods of Saharan rock art. There are also pictures that date back to the Garamantes, a legendary and mysterious tribe that dominated trans-Sahara trade for many centuries.
The discovery of the rock paintings has meant that a once unknown period of the history of Mankind has been preserved for future generations.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.