Courtesy of CIRSA, University of Rome

The Aghram Nadarif citadel commands a route running north-south between the Tassili mountains on the west and the Tadrart Akakus mountains (the ridge in the background) on the east. In the Berber language, Aghram Nadarif means “City of Salt”; this fortress/inn was named after the most important commodity traded by the Garamantes. Found abundantly in the Sahara’s dry lake basins, salt was caravanned to tropical Africa (which has no salt reserves) and traded for gold, slaves and exotic goods—which the Garamantes then traded to Mediterranean nations for glass and metal products, olive oil and wine.