Call for contributions - Training workshop on rock art in Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape, World Heritage site in Chad

Friday, 3 November 2023 at 13:00
access_time 4 min read

November 27 - December 08, 2023
Fada, Republic of Chad


In 2016, UNESCO inscribed Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape on the World Heritage List as a mixed natural and cultural property. Two years later, the public-private partnership between African Parks Network (APN) and the government of Chad was signed, with the aim of rehabilitating and maintaining the natural heritage, and preserving the cultural heritage of the Massif de l'Ennedi.

Known for its exceptional rock art heritage, the Massif de l'Ennedi boasts over 900 sites, bearing witness to the evolution of human life in this area, from the time of hunter-gatherers to the first nomadic pastoralists, and covering a period of some 7,000 years. The archaeological research carried out by various researchers clearly shows that the rock art of the Ennedi forms a significant part of the overall rock art in the Sahara (Coulson et al. 2001). The work carried out has shown the extraordinary archaeological heritage of the Ennedi massif, with hundreds of sites, and highlighted the risk of deterioration of some of these sites by anthropic, natural or animal actions, particularly in the absence of adequate enhancement and protection programs. This situation can be explained by the lack of Chadian and African specialists in the field of rock art.

Today, therefore, it is necessary to train African researchers and heritage agents to acquire and appropriate techniques for surveying rock paintings and engravings, as well as questions of management and protection of archaeological heritage, particularly in relation to the recognition of this archaeological exceptionality as a World Heritage Site. Such action is perfectly aligned with UNESO's Priority Africa Strategy (2022-2029), whose Flagship Programme 3 aims, among other things, to increase Africa's representativeness on the World Heritage List, and to build the capacities of African heritage professionals and stakeholders for the preparation of solid and credible nomination dossiers, as well as for the sustainable management and preservation of properties already inscribed.

It is in this context that the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and African Parks Network (APN), in collaboration with the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, are organizing a training workshop in the "Ennedi Massif: a natural and cultural landscape" for researchers and World Heritage agents from Central Africa in particular, so that they can acquire techniques for surveying rock paintings and engravings, and learn about the management and protection of archaeological heritage. This activity is financed by the Norwegian government's contribution to UNESCO's Culture Sector, and aims in particular to contribute to the management efforts undertaken in the Massif de l'Ennedi by the African Parks Network (APN) and the Chadian government.

Objective and expected results

Objective: Organize training in rock art with the aim of implementing a strategy to protect archaeological sites of importance in relation to World Heritage status.

Expected results:

  •  The development of a strategy for the protection of rock art sites through training provided by three experts from the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès to researchers and heritage agents from Central Africa at Ennedi (Chad);
  •  Ten French-speaking African researchers and heritage agents (including two from the Ennedi Archaeology Department) are trained by experts from the Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès in techniques for surveying rock paintings and engravings, and in the management and protection of archaeological heritage;
  •  Four key sites (paintings and engravings) requiring protection and enhancement are appraised, namely Bakabi (5 km north-east of Fada), Tourba (20 km south-east of Fada), Tami (30 km south-west of Fada) and Sabi Gnala (55 km north of Fada); and
  •  The general public is made aware of the project via a documentary film produced on the four above-mentioned sites, in order to promote the region's archaeological heritage and provide recommendations for the sustainable preservation of the sites.

Workshop structure

The methodological approach of the 10-day workshop includes the following elements:

  • Interactive classroom training
  • Expert presentations on the documentation, analysis and conservation of rock art: iconography, physical and archaeological context, dating and laboratory analysis (survey, physico-chemical analysis, statistical processing).
  • Hands-on computer exercises on rock art documentation
  • Basic photographic processing, D-Stretch colorimetry;
  • Semi-automatic survey, manual survey (taphonomy and rock art remains, graphic design), plus Excel database development and filling.
  • Field visit
  • Visit to four identified sites (Bakabi, Tourba, Tami and Sabi Gnala) in the World Heritage property "Massif de l'Ennedi: natural and cultural landscape", and exchanges between resource persons and participants on the conservation, documentation and enhancement of the Massif's archaeological heritage.


The workshop will be evaluated anonymously at the end of the program. This will include a before/after self-evaluation questionnaire, highlighting the evolution of participants' knowledge during the workshop, as well as a feedback questionnaire, evaluating the workshop content, the program content and the workshop objectives themselves, with a view to future improvement.


For this course, each participant must submit a biography describing their experience in rock art conservation and management, together with their CV and a copy of their valid passport.

Application procedure
All candidates are requested to complete the registration form and send it by e-mail before Friday, November 10, 2023 to the following address 

Application form

Friday, 3 November 2023 at 13:00
access_time 4 min read
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