Far off the lone and rarely visited piste which leads from Agadez via the uranium mines of Arlit northwards towards Tam, an elementary zone is waiting, that is very unforgiving. This is an experience that Heinrich Barth had to undergo, as he crossed the area during his “Great Journey” in August 1850. Only the excellent eyes of his Tuareg guide saved the explorer who lost his company on a recon excursion, close to delirium and dying with thirst, facing an atrocious death. With a croaky “Alhamdulillah”, “praise to the Lord” on his lips, the young explorer embraced his rescuers.
Our first search area is “Timmersoi”. Translated from “Tamashek”, the Tuareg language, this means “Place of the cadavers”. It’s a broad flat ancient alluvial plain, which spreads from north to southwest across the Tamesna desert, the latter stretching from the Air Mountains to the Algerian border. Based on the geological data that is available for this region, our search area consists of Pleistocene alluvial plains mainly with quartz gravels and to the north of the Tamesma of vast Quaternary regs.
Our mission is to find meteorites, extraterrestrial rocks that have rested here for thousands of years in the dust of the Sahara. The statistics of meteorite strikes indicate that 1 meteorite weighing at least 10 grams hits every square mile of the earth once in 1,000 years.
Brief stop in the Tassili Ahoggar. F.l.t.r: Svend Buhl (author), Juergen Meineke, Sidi Ibrahim, Mohamed Yaha, Jost Hecker