The sign on the stone
The unknown Sahara of the Peoples with no name

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A Film by: Lucio and Anna Rosa

Directed by: Lucio Rosa

Scientific coordination:
Stefano Biagetti
Savino di Lernia - University of Rom "La Sapienza"

Runnig time: 59'

Format: 16:9

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Locations Libya: Tadrart Acacus - Messak Settafet - Erg Murzuq - Erg Uan Kasa - Garama - Germa - Ghat - Leptis Magna - Sabratha - Tripoli

The age-old history of the Sahara is characterized by alternating phases of climatic extremes: periods of great dryness, of heavy rains, and in the background the stories of men whose luck it was to choose this land as their home. 12,000 years ago, after a period of extreme drought, the rain returned and life began to slowly sprout once more.
Thus in the central Sahara, on the massifs of the Tadrart Akakus and the Messak in the south-west of Libya, the first communities formed, tough and vital, culturally accomplished and able to define their identity not only through the mere physical survival of the group but also to elevate their daily lives and primitive need for the transcendental to the complex level of pictorial expression.

From the end of the Pleistocene to the Holocene and up to the last desertification, through their cave paintings the shelters that gave them refuge became the place of abode and conservation of a culture.
In these books of stone is revealed and recorded a human story that today still displays intact its fascinating and extraordinary magic.

The Awards

  • Aquileia – 2° Festival Internazionale del cinema Archeologico – 2011
    Prize of the Public
  • 17th International Archaeological Film Festival – Rovereto
    Second prize of the Public
  • 2nd Rome International Archaeological Film Festival "Capitello d'oro" 2007
    The film was awarded the "Capitello d'Oro", jury prize for best film, with the motivation that:
    "It tells a complex and elusive story in a simple rigorous way, unlike most of the documentaries presented, does not lapse into bombast and rhetoric but still manages to impress and captivate the viewer. The images acquire movement and speak. The stories interweave, a dialogue is created between the remotest past and the story of the discovery and the references to Fabrizio Mori and his adventure are a tribute to the refined discreet scholar" (Jury President Dr. Sergio Zavoli).
  • The Intenational Festival of Archaeological Film of Agrigento "Valle dei Templi 2007"
    jury prize for best film, with the motivation that:
    "The film tells the millennia-long story of rock art in the Sahara, from the strikingly realistic vividly etched art left to us by hunter-gathering peoples to the painted art, schematic in its lightness of colour and outlines, of pastoral and gatherer peoples heading towards a sedentary agricultural way of life, in a rigorous, fluent and always absorbing way and in a context of unflagging interest in the surroundings. In a brief comment the personality of Fabrizio Mori and his palaeontological school adds touches of reflection which in today’s scholar accompany his enthusiasm for and the importance of his discovery, a discovery which provides important knowledge for the universe of the most ancient civilisations" (Jury President Prof. Ernesto De Miro).
  • CINARCHEA – 8. Internationales Archäologie Film - Kunst - Festival - Kiel - CINARCHEA 2008
    Prize of the Public
  • AGON – 7th International Meeting of Archaeological Film of the Mediterranean Area - Athens - 2008
    Prize of the Public
    Prize for Photography
  • The Archaeology Channel - The International Film and Video Festival - Eugene - Oregon - USA - 2008
    Honorable Mention for Best Cinematography (by Jury)
    Honorable Mention for Best Animation (by Jury)

Photo gallery