Trying to reconstruct the prehistory of livestock in the Sudan is by no means an easy venture for a historical linguist. Owing to the dramatic climatic, socio-political and socio-linguistic changes that took place over an extended period, we are confronted with a vast area either more or less devoid of recent settlement or inhabited by various ethnic groups who no longer speak any genuine African languages. The desiccation of the region west of the Nile valley led to a gradual migration of its inhabitants to more fertile areas. Although excavations of recent years, for example along the Wadi Howar, have brought to light the material remains of prolonged settlements by different peoples, we still know next to nothing about their ethnic or linguistic identities. The middle Nile region, on the other hand, is inhabited by various ethnic groups which during the last centuries have shifted to Arabic as their first and later only language, giving up their original mother tongues.