Idea #532 – Searching the Sans’ petroglyphs of Twyfelfontein in Namibia
The archeological site of Twyfelfontein is in the valley of Huab, in the region of Damaraland. The zone where are petroglyphs is a valley flanked by mountains of stoneware, in the spectacular landscape.
Twyfelfontein possesses one of the most important concentrations engravings on rock of Africa. Most of these well protected works represent rhinoceros, elephants, ostriches and giraffes, as well as footprints of men and animals. The site includes also six shelters under rock medal recipients of human representations painted in the red ochre. Vestiges brought to light in two parts of the site were dated the end of the Stone Age. The site forms a coherent, large-scale and quality group which shows ritual practices of the communities of hunters-gatherers in this part of Southern Africa during at least two millenniums; it illustrates in a eloquent way the links between the ritual and economic practices of the hunters-gatherers.
All the engravings and the rock paintings of the main zone are undoubtedly the authentic work of the hunters-gatherers San who lived in the region for a long time before the arrival of the shepherds Damara and the European colonists. The environment of the rock art of Twyfelfontein is also authentic, because with the exception of a small engraved panel which was deposited to the national museum of Windhoek at the beginning of the XXth century, no panel was moved or reorganized.
The main zone of the rock art was classified national monument in 1948 and it is protected from now on by National Heritage Act on 2004. The site was registered on the UNESCO world heritage list in 2007.
Where is it ?
Twyfelfontein, Damaraland, Namibia