Abstract : The presence of oasis in the Sahara can seem an ecological aberration. The palm plantations, and the gardens which they shelter, are in fact the fruit of a thousand-year-old conquest, which continues today. These artificial landscapes, irrigated "terroirs" (regions) carefully worked and maintained, are the prototype of the anthropized natural systems.
This book has been written from ethnographic investigations on the field carried out in Tunisian Jerid, but also in Tassili n'Ajjer (Djanet, Algeria) and in the wadi Draa (Zagora, Morocco). If this comparative perspective reveals the diversity of the oasian practices and local knowledge and of the relations to the environment (to the "nature"), it also emphasizes the local dynamics, which unfold beyond the usual dualism between tradition and modernity. In addition, several scales of study, from the vegetable bed to the garden and from the plot of land to the whole palm grove, make it possible to underline the variety of the articulations between ecological, economic, and social factors in oasis.
The cultivated Sahara does not offer one but diverse oasian natures in constant evolution, built from this anthropological richness.