Deep in the Messak Settafet is a site that has intrigued researchers for decades: the image known as ‘Fighting Cats’. This iconic engraving shows two confronted, long-tailed figures standing on their hindquarters, with legs and arms partially outstretched against each other, as if fighting. This area is home to some of the oldest engravings in the Sahara desert (possibly as much as 10,000 years old) and some of the most well-known depictions in Saharan rock art.
Messak rock art has been known to archaeology since the 1850s. Figures appear both isolated and in complex scenes which include engraved life-size elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, buffaloes and figures which mix human and animal features (therianthropes), along with numerous figures from more modern periods such as horses and camels.
This model was created using 8 original photographs from the African Rock Art Image Project, supported by the Arcadia Fund. For more information visit: http://africanrockart.britishmuseum.org/#/article/fighting-cats