Twyfelfontein, officially known as ǀUi-ǁAis, is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a table mountain that receives very little rainfall and has a wide range of diurnal temperatures. The site has been inhabited for 6,000 years, first by hunter-gatherers, both ethnic groups used it as a place of worship and a site to conduct shamanist rituals. In the process of these rituals at least 2,500 items of rock carvings have been created, displaying one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa, UNESCO approved Twyfelfontein as Namibias first World Heritage Site in 2007. Twyfelfontein valley has been inhabited by Stone-age hunter-gatherers of the Wilton stone age culture group since approximately 6,000 years ago and they made most of the engravings and probably all the paintings. 2,000 to 2,500 years ago the Khoikhoi, the Khoikhoi produced rock art which can clearly be distinguished from the older engravings.
The area was uninhabited by Europeans until after World War II, the farm was procured by the apartheid government as part of the Odendaal Plan and became part of the Damaraland bantustan. The white settlers left in 1965, topographer Reinhard Maack, who discovered the White Lady rock painting at Brandberg, reported the presence of rock engravings in the area in 1921. A more thorough investigation was conducted after David Levin studied the feasibility of farming in 1947. He rediscovered the spring but struggled to extract water to sustain his family. Slowly becoming obsessed with doubts about the capacity of the spring an Afrikaans-speaking friend began calling him David Twyfelfontein in jest, when Levin bought the land and registered his farm in 1948 he gave it the name Twyfelfontein. While commonly being translated as spring, a more accurate translation for the word twyfel is therefore questionable or uncertain. In 1950 scientific investigation of the art started with an investigation by Ernst Rudolph Scherz who described over 2500 rock engravings on 212 sandstone slabs.
Today it is estimated that the site more than 5000 individual depictions. Twyfelfontein is situated in the Huab valley of the Mount Etjo formation in southern Kunene Region of Namibia, the rocks containing the art work are situated in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain. An underground aquifer on a layer of shale sustains a spring in this otherwise very dry area. The World Heritage Site covers the area of rock engravings, the area is a transitional zone between semi desert and shrubland and receives less than 150 mm annual rainfall. Diurnal temperatures vary from 10 to 28 °C in the month of July and 21 to 35 °C in the summer month of November
Laas Geel, spelled Laas Gaal, are cave formations on the rural outskirts of Hargeisa, Somaliland. They contain some of the earliest known paintings in the Horn of Africa. Laas Geels rock art is estimated to date to somewhere between 9, 000–3,000 BC, during November and December 2002, an archaeological survey was carried out in Somaliland by a French team of researchers. During the course of the survey, the French archaeological team discovered the Laas Geel cave paintings, in an excellent state of preservation, the rock art depicts both wild animals and decorated cows and bulls. They feature herders, who are believed to be the creators of the paintings, Laas Geels rock art is in the same distinctive Ethiopian-Arabian style as the Dhambalin and Karinhegane cave paintings that are found in Somaliland. The Laas Geel rock art had been known to the inhabitants for centuries before the French discovery. However, the existence of the site had not been broadcast to the international community, in November 2003, a mission returned to Laas Geel and a team of experts undertook a detailed study of the paintings and their prehistoric context.
However, many of old structures have yet to be properly explored. The Laas Geel cave paintings are thought to be some of the most vivid rock art in Africa, among other things, they depict cattle in ceremonial robes accompanied by humans, who are believed to have been inhabitants of the region. The necks of the cattle are embellished with a kind of plastron, some of the cattle are portrayed wearing decorative robes. Besides long-horned cattle, the rock art shows an image of a domesticated dog. CyArk - Rock Art Sites of Somaliland
In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural stone, it is largely synonymous with parietal art. A global phenomenon, rock art is found in many diverse regions of the world. It has been produced in many contexts throughout history, although the majority of rock art that has been ethnographically recorded has been produced as a part of ritual. Such artworks are often divided into three forms, which are carved into the surface, which are painted onto the surface. The oldest known rock art dates from the Upper Palaeolithic period, having found in Europe, Asia. Archaeologists studying these artworks believe that they likely had magico-religious significance, Rock art continues to be of importance to indigenous peoples in various parts of the world, who view them as both sacred items and significant components of their cultural patrimony. Such archaeological sites are significant sources of cultural tourism, and have been utilised in popular culture for their aesthetic qualities.
Normally found in cultures, a rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or living rock such as a cliff. They are a category of art, and sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture. However, they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, a few such works exploit the natural contours of the rock and use them to define an image, but they do not amount to man-made reliefs. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures, and were important in the art of the Ancient Near East. Rock reliefs are generally large, as they need to be to make an impact in the open air. Most have figures that are over life-size, and in many the figures are multiples of life-size, the vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are found. The term typically excludes relief carvings inside caves, whether natural or themselves man-made, natural rock formations made into statues or other sculpture in the round, most famously at the Great Sphinx of Giza, are usually excluded.
Reliefs on large boulders left in their location, like the Hittite İmamkullu relief, are likely to be included. The term rock art appears in the literature as early as the 1940s. It has described as rock carvings, rock drawings, rock engravings, rock inscriptions, rock paintings, rock pictures. The defining characteristic of rock art is that it is placed on natural rock surfaces, as such, rock art is a form of landscape art, and includes designs that have been placed on boulder and cliff faces, cave walls and ceilings, and on the ground surface
Nyero rock paintings
The Nyero rock paintings are located in eastern Uganda in Kumi District,8 km west of Kumi town, about 200 km from the capital city Kampala. The Nyero rock paintings are among the most important rock art in Uganda, Nyero rock paintings date to before 1250 CE. They were first documented in 1913 and described by researchers as largely of geometric nature and this art is generally attributed to Batwa hunter-gatherers who are of Pygmy origin, and are today, in Eastern Africa, only found in small groups near the Rwanda/Uganda border and eastern Congo. It is likely that Twa hunter-gatherer communities once lived in the area of these rock art sites. The paintings enrich the cultural identity of the people of Iteso, Nyero rock art site has six shelters. This is a rock shelter formed by a low overhanging rock perched above three supporting rocks. On the outer edge of the overhang are six sets of concentric circles in white, together with paintings in the shape of ‘acacia pods’. This is the shelter, it has a 10 m high vertical rock against the back wall.
The overhang protects the paintings from direct rain and rocks in front, the paintings are all done in shades of red. Concentric circles are the dominant form and more than forty different drawings were identified, there is one large ‘acacia pod’ design that has been called a canoe. Members of the community still follow a tradition of placing money there either before or after receiving help from ancestral spirits. This shelter is at the far end of the Inselberg. It is formed by a large boulder perched on top of supporting rocks with no standing room. Once inside the protecting wall, visitors have to crouch low down to reach the far end where another artificial wall makes it less dangerous. The paintings are white concentric circles, the circles are surrounded by double curved designs. This is a shelter on the south-western side of the hill where there are a few traces of red finger-painted concentric circles. This is situated on the side of the hill near to the primary school, has a red geometric motif composed of a combination of circular and linear shapes made with both a brush and a finger.
Unfortunately, part of it has been damaged by water erosion
Handoga is located 14 km to the west of Dikhil, Djibouti. During the first excavations in 1970, archaeologists discovered funds stone houses and they have updated shards of ceramics, chipped stone tools and a glass bead. An old settlement, Handoga is the site of ancient ruins and buildings. Including ceramic shards matching vases used brazier, or containers that can hold water, several choppers and microliths, drills, trenchers basalt, a team of archaeologists discover an elephant date of 1.6 million years near the area. Also a pearl orange coralline, three glass paste, etc
Asa Koma is an archaeological site in Djibouti. Asa Koma is a lake area on the Gobaad Plain. Pottery predating the mid-2nd millennium has been found at the site, the ware is characterized by punctate and incision geometric designs, which bear a similarity to the Sabir culture phase 1 ceramics from Malayba in Southern Arabia. Additionally, ceramics like some of the pottery from Sihi on the Saudi coast, long-horned humpless cattle bones have been discovered at Asa Koma, suggesting that domesticated cattle was present by around 3,500 years ago
Nooitgedacht Glacial Pavements
Some 300-290 million years ago, during Dwyka times, what is now Southern Africa was, as a result of plate tectonics, near the South Pole and large ice sheets or glaciers covered high-lying areas. Geologists term this upland the Cargonian Highlands, stretching from what is now the Northern Cape through Gauteng to Mpumalanga, as the ice shaped the landscape, the continent of Gondwanaland continued to drift slowly northwards, ultimately bringing this area into warmer latitudes. As the glaciers melted, a mixture of clay and rock was left behind which eventually consolidated into a rock called Tillite – the lower-most layer in the Karoo sequence, quite large erratics or drop stones carried here by glacial action are found at Nooitgedacht. At one time – when the diamondiferous pipes penetrated to the surface between 120 and 90 million years ago – it is estimated that about 1 km of Karoo sediment overlay the Kimberley-Barkly West area. Diamonds were eroded out of pipes and caught in pockets of sediment and gravels which.
Since 1869, the various gravels along the Vaal River have been worked intensively for their content of alluvial diamonds. The Nooitgedacht diggings were opened in 1949 and closed in 1981, during these 32 years, a total of 80000 diamonds were found here. The Venter Diamond, a 511-carat yellow stone, was the largest, the standard size of a diggers claim was 15 x 15 metres. The diamond-bearing gravels, covered by a layer of red sand, were washed by hand in simple rotary pans. The left-over concentrate of heavy material was sorted for diamonds. The search for diamonds continues along the Vaal River in the Windsorton, Barkly West and Delportshoop areas, diggings on Nooitgedacht itself were opened again in the late 1990s. Some small-scale diggers in the region still use pick and shovel to eke out a meagre return, the impacts of this on the environment and on heritage resources are not small. The images found on the glacial pavements at Nooitgedacht are a form of rock art called rock engravings. They were produced by pecking out the outlines or silhouettes of animals, or ‘geometric’ designs and they were made by ancestors of San and Khoe people, probably during the past 1500 years.
The engravings include depictions of humans, rhinoceros, giraffe, the more abstract forms may depict bags and aprons, as well as ‘geometric’ images such as are common at other sites in the region, particularly Driekops Eiland. What these different images mean is subject to debate, various claims and counter claims to ownership of this territory were made following the discovery of diamonds in 1869-70. Nooitgedacht featured early on, when the Presidents of the Free State and Transvaal Republics met here with the Griqua Chief Nicolaas Waterboer and his agent David Arnot, the Griqua representatives walked out in a huff and the Free State proclaimed the territory theirs. But this was not the end of the story, the dispute being settled eventually by the Keate Award, the site was declared a National Monument in 1936 and under South Africas Act 25 of 1999 is now a Grade 2 Provincial Heritage Site
San rock art
The San, or Bushmen, are indigenous people in Southern Africa particularly in what is now South Africa and Botswana. Their ancient rock paintings and carvings are found in caves and on rock shelters, the artwork depicts non-human beings and half-human half-animal hybrids. The half-human hybrids are believed to be men or healers involved in a healing dance. ”Gall writes, “The Laurens van der Post panel at Tsodilo is one of the most famous rock paintings. ”Also on this rock face is a female giraffe that is motionless. Several other images of animals are depicted there too, along with the flesh blood-red handprints that are the signature of the unknown artist, the Drakensberg and Lesotho is particularly well known for its San rock art. Tsodilo was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, according to Thomas Dowson, “a lot of rock art is actually in symbols and metaphors. ”For example, eland bulls, meant marriage, and curing or the trance dance. Rock art gives us a glimpse of the San’s history, San used rock art to record things that happened in their lives.
Several instances of art have been found that resemble wagons. Dowson notes that, “The people who brought in the wagons and so forth thus became, whether they realized it or not, dorothea Bleek, writer of the article “Beliefs and Customs of the /Xam Bushmen”, published 1933, says the San recorded “rain dance animals”. When they did rain dances they would go into a trance to “capture” one of these animals, in their trance they would kill it, and its blood and milk became the rain. As depicted in the art, the rain dance animals they “saw” usually resembled a hippopotamus or antelope. We can learn more about how the San lived through their rock art, in the following depiction, the people are all in a dancing stance, and the women are all clapping. So, according to Dowson, it is believed to be one of their healing or trance dances, everyone is the same, one is not more elaborate or more detailed than another. This shows that though the healers held special powers, they were not thought of as higher or better, healing was not for becoming a more prominent and powerful person, it was for the good of the entire community.
The head of the buck was an important part of this disguise, the large number of buckheaded figures in paintings is proof that the San did this. Woodhouse says the San used different coloured stone to do the drawings and he says, “They usually used red rock, which they ground until it was fine, and mixed it with fat. ”They rubbed this on the rock to form the pictures. This paint that they used withstands the rain and weather for long periods of time. The San then, according to Phillip V. Tobias, an Honorary Professor of Palaeoanthropology at the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, used this paint in four different styles. These four style techniques are “monochromes, animal outlines in thick red lines, thinly outlined figures, I. and J. Rudner, writers of the journal “Who Were the Artists
Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre
Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre is a rock engraving site with visitor centre on land owned by the. Xun and Khwe San situated about 16 km from Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa. It is a declared Provincial Heritage Site managed by the Northern Cape Rock Art Trust in association with the McGregor Museum, differing in technique, the engravings have many features in common with rock paintings. South Africa’s rich heritage of rock art occurs in the form of engravings on the interior plains, the region bounded by the Vaal and Orange Rivers has a particularly concentrated distribution of engraving sites, of which Wildebeest Kuil is one. The earliest records of rock engravings at Wildebeest Kuil are the copies made by George William Stow who was on the Diamond Fields in the early 1870s. Several of the engravings copied by Stow are still to be seen on site, some of these were exhibited at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886, and at least two rock engravings are preserved in the collection of the British Museum.
It was Stows copy that, in the 1960s, enabled positive identification of its origin, the first systematic work on rock art in the region was the survey published by Maria Wilman. When G. and D. Fock documented Wildebeest Kuil in 1968, detailed mapping has since revealed more than 400 engravings. Most of the engravings in the Kimberley area are made with the pecked technique, sites north west of Kimberley are often on andesite outcrops while to the south, in Karoo geological settings, the koppies are mostly dolerite. With time, the portions of the older engravings have become as dark as the outer crust through the build-up of patina. The pecked engravings of the area are estimated to span a period from perhaps a few hundred to several thousand years ago. Hairline engravings, known from a few sites in this area and more commonly in the Karoo, are consistently beneath pecked engravings in superimposed sequences, and are thus older. At Wildebeest Kuil some of the engravings were made by Later Stone Age occupants of the site 1200–1800 years ago.
Given a shamanistic understanding of the art, the Wildebeest Kuil engravings may well relate to beliefs about the rain, medicine people or shamans could access the spirit world through altered states of consciousness and harness supernatural power to heal the sick, control animals, and make rain. It appears that places selected for making engravings were chosen for their significance in relation to these beliefs, Stone circles and clearings, containing Later Stone Age occupation or activity debris, on and around the hill were noted by Stow in the 1870s. Since 1996 the farm of Wildebeest Kuil has been owned by the. Xun and these two San groups, speaking distinct Khoe-San languages and having different histories, had been caught up in political turmoil in Angola in the 1960s and 1970s, and subsequently in Namibia. In 1990, at the time of Namibia’s independence, some 4000 of them were flown to a tent-town at Schmidtsdrift and this area was subsequently awarded to its former Tswana owners in a land claim, forcing the.
Xun and Khwe to move again. Having purchased Wildebeest Kuil and adjoining farms, resettlement from the Schmidtsdrift tent towns to a new housing scheme at Platfontein on the outskirts of Kimberley took place in 2003-5. As the owners today of the land on which the Wildebeest Kuil engravings occur, the. Xun and Khwe see in the art a link to a broad Khoe-San cultural inheritance in Southern Africa
The White Lady
The White Lady is a rock painting, located on a panel, depicting other art work, on a small rock overhang, deep within Brandberg Mountain. The giant granite monolith located in Damaraland and called The Brandberg is Namibias highest mountain and its German name is Weiße Dame. The painting has long been a dilemma, and several different hypotheses have been put forth on its origins, authorship. It is now accepted to be a bushmen painting, dating back at least 2000 years ago. The White Lady archaeological site is located close to the road from Khorixas to Henties Bay, in the area of Uis, the Brandberg itself hosts over 1.000 bushmen paintings, scattered around in rock shelters and caves. The White Lady Group is found in a known as Maack Shelter and portrays several human figures as well as oryxes. The White Lady is the most detailed human figure in the group, to reach The White Lady it is necessary to hike for about 45-60 minutes over rough terrain, along the gorge of the - normally - dry Tsisab river.
It is usually assumed that the shows some sort of ritual dance. She has white legs and arms, which may suggest that his body was painted or that he was wearing some sort of decorative attachments on his legs and he holds a bow in one hand and perhaps a goblet in the other. Because of the bow and the oryxes, the painting has interpreted as a hunting scene. Apart from the shaman/lady, the human figures have less detail. One of the oryxes has human legs, the painting was probably made of ochre, manganese, with blood serum, egg white and casein used as binding agents. The painting has undergone severe damage since it was first discovered in the early 20th century, for a few decades, tourists used to pour water on the painting to make the colors more clearly visible in their pictures, thus causing the painting to fade quickly. The site is now a heritage site of Namibia. Bags and bottles are NOT allowed at the far end of the trail, thanks to many tourists protests, the metal wire netting has been replaced by only 2 metal bars, for a much better view.
The White Lady was first discovered in 1918 by German explorer and topographer Reinhard Maack as he was surveying the Brandberg, Maack was impressed by the main figure of the painting, which he described as a warrior. In his notes, he wrote that the Egyptian-Mediterranean style of all the figures is surprising and he made several hand-drawn copies of the painting, which were published in Europe. In 1929, Maacks notes came into the hands of the well-known French anthropologist Henri Breuil while he was visiting Cape Town and it was Breuil who first referred to the painting as the white lady
Mfangano Island lies in the eastern part of Lake Victoria, at the mouth of the Winam Gulf. Part of Kenya, it lies west of Rusinga Island, the island is 65 km² in area and rises to 1,694 m at Mount Kwitutu. It had a population of 16,282 at the 1999 census, Mfangano is part of Homa Bay County. The island is home to the largest population of Olusuba or Suba people language speakers in Kenya, other languages spoken on the island include Luo and English. Members of the Luo tribe are concentrated on the side of the island, most of whom are fishermen. Most inhabitants live near the water for ease in fishing and collecting the water supply. The waters edge of the island is rocky with a few black sandy shores. Transportation consists mostly walking and of travel in small wooden handmade boats that sometimes have a sail. There are a few bicycles now that the government cut a road that circles the island on which motorbikes can travel, the first car to be driven on the islands soil was on February 2,2007.
Since then, several automobiles have been seen, and others now are used locally for transport, in it was Road and Public Services Hon. Simeon Nyachae, MP. There is a dirt landing strip for small planes which has been improved to support other bigger planes. This is used mostly for tourists and mission workers, many more is still yet to be experienced in the region with the improving tourism rate boosted by the establishment of the Abasuba Community Peace Museum in October 2009. Mfangano is known for its ancient rock art, possibly 2,000 years old and thought to have created by early forager-hunters. A Case of a Mother Tongue and Another Mother Tongue in School, Efforts at Revitalization of Olosuba Language in Kenya