These spear-throwing riders harass their foes from afar, falling back after each attack in readiness to strike again.
While Herodotus confirms in his writings that the Garamantes fought on chariots, textual and archaeological evidence seems to reveal a prevalent use of cavalry in combat scenarios. Moreover, Strabo specifies that the mastery of horses and horse-riding was a key characteristic of the Garamantian tribes.
The Berber populations of Antiquity were renowned for their light cavalrymen, who were predominantly used as mercenaries in the Carthaginian (Numidian cavalry) and then Roman armies, performing reconnaissance missions or acting as auxiliary regiments.
Sources reveal that these agile horsemen rode without saddles or bridles, controlling their mounts solely with the pressure of their legs or with just a simple rope tied around the horse’s neck. They rarely wore armor and were armed with javelins, spears and small, circular shields made from reeds. Their main strategy consisted in approaching the enemy without engaging them in combat, and then employing a harassing tactic, which involved throwing javelins and luring the enemy onto unfavorable terrain, to facilitate the job of the infantry.