Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Twyfelfontein, Namibia: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Twyfelfontein, Namibia: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Article excerpt

Twyfelfontein (officially known as |Ui-||Ais) in the Kunene region of the Republic of Namibia (situated along the south Atlantic coast of Africa between 17 and 29 degrees south of the Equator) is the nation's first UNESCO World Heritage Site (established June 2007) situated in a transitional zone between the Namib Desert (the oldest desert in the world) and the semi-desert area in the Kunene region, home to a wide variety of rock arts which date back between 2000 and 3000 years ago. The site comprises roughly 2,500 rock engravings on 212 slabs of rock, as well as 13 panels containing a number of rock paintings, including the prehistoric rock carvings, with over 2,000 figures documented to date. Furthermore, Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes has one of the largest concentrations of [...] petroglyphs, i.e. rock engravings in Africa executed on flat and upright slabs.

Most of these well-preserved engravings represent rhinoceros; the site also includes six paint elephant, ostrich and giraffe, as well as drawings of human and animal footprintsd rock shelters with motifs of human figures in red ochre. The objects excavated from two sections, date from the Late Stone Age. The site forms a coherent, extensive and high-quality record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gatherer communities in this part of southern Africa over at least 2,000 years, and eloquently illustrates the links between the ritual and economic practices of hunter-gatherers.

Namibia, through the National Heritage Council, is busy working on another four sites, including Brandberg, the south of the Namib Desert, the Welwitschia plant and the Fish River Canyon, to be declared as world heritage monuments or sites.

The outstanding universal value of the Twyfelfontein:

* The rock art forms a coherent, extensive and high quality record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gather communities in this part of southern Africa over at least two millennia and, eloquently reflects the links between ritual and economic practices of hunter-gatherers in terms of the value of reliable water sources in nurturing communities on a seasonal basis.

* The rock art engravings and paintings in Twyfelfontein form a coherent, extensive and high quality record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gather communities in this part of southern Africa over at least two millennia. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.