Taforalt (Cave of Pigeons) – Berkane, Morocco - Atlas Obscura

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Taforalt (Cave of Pigeons)

Berkane, Morocco

This Paleolithic cave may be the oldest cemetery in North Africa. 


The cave of Taforalt, also known as the Grotte des Pigeons, sits right outside the village of the same name in eastern Morocco. Considered the oldest cemetery in North Africa, the site contained at least 34 Iberomaurusian skeletons dating to the Later Stone Age, around 15,000 calendar years ago.

Archaeological evidence has also revealed that the Iberomaurusians lived in the cave around 23,000 years ago, and the earliest Aterian occupation here may date back to 85,000 years ago. Thanks to the cave being quite dry, both the human remains and Paleolithic artifacts were found in a good state of preservation.

Since its discovery in 1908, there has been an ongoing series of excavations and researches at the site, which has provided archaeologists with new perspectives on the lives in prehistoric North Africa.

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