The Tagant plateau has long been occupied by Man, as revealed by paintings in caves and rock shelters. The oldest of these date from the Mesolithic (from 8,000-6,000 years BC), a time when hunter-gatherers inhabited the Sahara.
The plateau subsequently saw successive arrivals of Berbers and arabs who, together with the indigenous black inhabitants, comprise the present day population of the territory.
The Tagant plateau was on the caravan routes which linked the Sahel with the Mediterranean across the vastness of the Sahara. The abandoned town of Kasr el Barka, north of Lake Gabou, was an important caravan staging post and stands today as one of the last witnesses to that splendid past.