After more than a century, studies on the origin of the foggara the Western Algerian Sahara remain open. The reasons are related to disconnected approaches and a lack of focus on the subject as a main search aim. Hence, there is a need for a retrospective synthesis on what could be figured out from the different studies on the question in order to suggest a new search perspective. An overview of the sources shows an ascending development through reporting, critical and interpretative approaches. The comparative study figures out some synthetic aspects which feebly suggest a local invention process even with some preliminary arguments. The origin of the foggara often seems of secondary interest. The origin is checked, at least, through apparent foggara characteristics so that the studies seem less systematic. Additionally, an interest in the intangible aspects and comparative studies is missing. The study concludes that there is a need to conduct multidisciplinary fieldwork investigation in the regions surrounding the Tademaït plateau. This has to be conducted on the most ancient foggaras, checking systematically the characteristics of both tangible and intangible aspects. An additional comparative study should eventually check the similarities with the recent findings in the ancient Garamantian Fezzan.

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