Rich in archaeological and geological monuments, Draa-Tafilalet offers an unforgettable experience by inviting you to go on a journey in time to discover the past.
Explore fossil quarries to immerse yourself in the Paleozoic era when the Region was covered by the ocean, and then visit rock engravings sites to see the verdant the 6,000 years savannah.
Fossils, between science and art
Drâa-Tafilalet is a geological, paleontological, and mineralogical rich source. This is primarily due to the numerous fossil quarries, particularly around Erfoud. These quarries have a remarkable variety of specimens encrusted in slabs of marble.
The outcrops of the primary era in Alnif, for example, are rich in marine fauna, whether it’s the early arthropods that lived there 542 to 245 million years ago, or the Goniatites and Orthoceras, predecessors of the current nautilus and cuttlefish. Other deposits can be found on the sides of Jbel Saghro and in the Eastern High Atlas foothills.
Local craftsmen work on the retrieved slabs, transforming them into little decorative pieces and even larger objects such as tables, fountains, carved plates, and so on.
It is common to come across dinosaur and prehistoric animal bones during archaeological digs. Full skeletons are also found, such as the one on display at the Tahiri Museum between Erfoud and Rissani. The region’s mineral environment has helped in the preservation of bones and skeletons.
The region also includes several sites with rock engravings, remains, and evidence of human existence. Engravings carved directly into the rock that describes life in the rich savannah that once occupied the sites. The triangle of Ouarzazate, Erfoud, and M’Hamid El Ghizlane owns a vast number, the most well-known is Ait Ouazzik’s. While visiting its surroundings, you will also come across the sites of Tamesahelt, Ouaglout, and Anou n’Ouamerzemlal, which are noted for their rhino representations.
Consider visiting the Foum Chenna site, located near Tinzouline. The site is known for having the most Libyan inscriptions, carved into the rock vertically on the cliffs overlooking the eponymous Wadi, stretching over 1,000 meters.
Several pre-Islamic necropolises and tumuli can be found on the region’s plateaus. The most well-known is without a doubt the Foum Errjam site, which is located at Jbel Beni Selmane near M’Hamid El Ghizlane. The tumuli rise in hundreds, forming pyramids of collected dry stones, typically conical and varying in size. Some excavated tumuli have a burial room with entire skeletons or dispersed bones.