More established than 16 centuries, Frenda’s Jedars, thirteen pyramids raised on two neighboring slopes in the north of Algeria, still keep numerous privileged insights for analysts.
The main surenesses being, these 13 stone structures with a square base and a pyramidal rise, one of a kind in Algeria and the Maghreb, were funerary landmarks and were worked between the fourth and seventh century close Tiaret (250 km south west of Algiers).
Then again, conclusions wander on the individuals who were covered there, potentially dignitaries. At the time, Berber rulers managed the district on little realms whose history is inadequately known and of which little remains.
The thirteen pyramids were worked more than three centuries in a period of significant change in northern Algeria, which in those days was Roman Numidia, a time that saw the decay of the Western Roman Empire, vandal and Byzantine attacks and the start of the Arab success. These grand Jedars (up to 18 meters high with a base changing between 11.5 meters and 46 meters) are raised on two slopes 6 kilometers separated close Frenda. With the three most seasoned on mount Lakhdar and the staying on mount Araoui.
All contain at least one rooms (up to 20 for the biggest) associated by an arrangement of displays, including entombment chambers, recommending aggregate internments occurred. A few rooms have seats, conceivably places of memorial service revere, as indicated by a few analysts.
The stone lintels of the inward entryways are cut with conventional examples of Christian structures (rosettes, rafters… ) yet in addition chasing scenes or creature figures. Yet, the engravings, presumably Latin, are too debased to be in any way deciphered; a few scientists have seen Greek letters, which others debate.
“The identity of the Jedars lives in the date of their development,” corresponding with the last funerary landmarks raised in Algeria before the entry of Islam and the finish of this kind of development, says Rachid Mahouz, Algerian classicist who committed a doctoral proposition to these pyramids.
Their development happened a very long time after other forcing pre-Islamic funerary landmarks recognized in northern Algeria: the Medracen, Numidian sepulcher (third century BC), the tomb of Massinissa, first ruler of Unified Numidia (second century BC) and the Royal Mauritanian Mausoleum (known as the “Christian Tomb”, first century BC).
A few analysts find in every one of these landmarks a development of tumuli (basic heaps of stone over a grave) and ‘bazinas’, funerary dry stone structures normal in the Maghreb and the Sahara, a huge number of years old.
The most punctual known composed portrayal of the Jedars is one of the history specialist Ibn Rakik, in the eleventh century, announced in the fourteenth by Ibn Khaldoun, a Maghrebi scholar of the time. In any case, for quite a long time, these landmarks situated in an inadequately populated territory have not gathered intrigue, disregarded and left helpless before raiders.
It was not until the nineteenth century, with the main present day archeological unearthings presented by the French pilgrims in 1830, that the Jedars incited the enthusiasm of French government employees and warriors. Provoking them to begin investigating nine from 1865 onwards.
Decades later, Algerian classicist Fatima Kadra, who passed on in 2012, contemplated inside and out the three most seasoned Jedars toward the finish of the 60s in the main unearthings since the freedom of Algeria, in this manner permitting a superior comprehension of the landmarks.
The plundering and crumbling of Jedars after some time makes it troublesome for specialists. A few, fallen, have never been scanned for absence of access to the inside, may in any case contain stays, expressed classicist Rachid Mahouz.
“The French chronicles on the Jedars are not accessible, the articles and bones found in some amid the pilgrim period were taken to France,” he laments.
A local of the area, he regrets the absence of research dedicated to these “ponders”, with archaic exploration having just started to be instructed in the mid 1980s, no authorities in funerary prehistoric studies were prepared at the time.
Jedars have been a piece of the Algerian national legacy since 1969. The nation’s experts and archeologists are pushing towards enlisting them on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which would make it less demanding to save and study. The National Center for Prehistoric, Anthropological and Historical Research (CNRPAH) has been planning for over a year the application to be submitted to UNESCO, an unpredictable methodology as indicated by the archeologists. It must be “documented amid the main quarter of 2020”, the Algerian Ministry of Culture told the AFP.
In the mean time, research and preservation endeavors proceed. In Frenda, around twenty paleontology understudies and their educators work around one of the most established Jedars. They record and rundown the debasements, clean the images engraved on a few stones at that point measure them. A careful activity that can take up to two hours for every enlistment.
For Mustapha Dorbane, teacher at the Archeology Institute of Algiers, it is critical to save this legacy, “a genealogical inheritance of endless esteem”.