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People Top 5
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- November 16, 1998
- Vol. 50
- No. 18
Rock of Ages
Above the Sahara, a Roving Photographer Finds Majestic Etchings of Ancient Giraffes
Etched in the stone were images of two giraffes, one 20 feet tall—perhaps the largest prehistoric rock art ever found. "We were stunned," says Coulson, 49, son of a former British ambassador to the U.S. "It was like entering an obscure art gallery and stumbling across a Renoir."
Unknown until now except to desert nomads, the extraordinary work was made 7,000 to 9,000 years ago by tribesmen who lived in the Sahara when it was less arid and giraffes were revered. But don't plan on trekking off to see the carving anytime soon. Coulson, who cofounded the Trust for African Rock Art in 1995, is keeping its location secret to protect it from vandals.
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