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The Amazighs’ Pyramids of Jeddars Tombs

     Jeddars refer to ancient monumental ruins with pyramid forms dating back to the 4th  century before the Christian era. This archeological site is situated on the tops of two hills in the mountainous area, around 30 km South of Tiaret, city in Algeria. 

    According to the studies, the graves' size and commanding situation indicate that they were built for royalty. It is believed that it belonged to Berber kings and used as a burial tombs.  The monuments were excavated in the 1970s by the archaeologist Fatima Kadra who made the first archaeological study of this monument .She wrote a book "The Djedars: Berber funerary monuments of the region of Frenda" which was published by Algiers University in 1983.

    According to the archeological studies, the three Jeddars of Jabal Lakhdar are believed to be the oldest. According to the stonemasons' marks, the Jeddar A is the oldest and the largest with funerary chambers; very soon after, solid Jeddar B was constructed by many of the same workmen. The last Jeddar, C, is believed to have been incomplete when it was very hurriedly finished and its occupant interred, perhaps a generation later. It is also believed that the occupants of these tombs were not themselves Christian but ruled over Christian subjects. 

   The monuments were built by limestone and sandstone (stone blocks 1 to1.5 m. long). It contains funerary chambers, a pyramidal top up to 13 m high, constructed in many small steps. This building is believed to have been used for obtaining divinatory dreams by sleeping in the vicinity of the tomb. Most of the monuments were surrounded by a complex of low walls. 

   The Jeddars display an enormous range of stonecutters' marks, from isolated letters to partial names. It contains many Latin inscriptions on recycled tombstones and other building material, some have been postulated to be Tifinagh (Amazigh Alphabet) .There are a few unobtrusive Christian symbols, and a couple of roughly carved panels (apparently hunting scenes) similar to many ancient Berber rock carvings.

        The Amazighs’ Pyramids of Jeddars Tombs were proposed for inclusion in the World Heritage List by the Algerian authorities. They submit it to UNESCO to classify it as part of the world's humanitarian heritage.

Written by ARAB Sabrina


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