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See Ancient Cave Paintings in Namibia

Home » African Safari Destinations » Namibia Safaris, Tours & Holidays » See Ancient Cave Paintings in Namibia

See Ancient Cave Paintings in Namibia

Namibia was home to ancient cultures and there are many sites where cave paintings can be found. If you are visiting Spitzkoppe there is a site called Bushman’s Paradise where you can find drawings of animals dating back thousands of years.

Some of the best cave paintings can be found in Namibia’s UNESCO World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein. Here you will find more than 2,500 rock carvings and historical rock art in this 6,000-year-old site.

Bushman’s paradise Spitzkoppe

Bushman’s Paradise Cave is the site of an ancient settlement, where a number of excellent samples of rock art were discovered. However the art has been vandalized and/ or mistreated by travelers who used soft-drinks and water to improve photography, so the rock art is in a poor condition. This highlights the need for responsible behavior around rock art.

The rock art at Bushman’s Paradise is believed to have been made between 4,400 BCE and 100 AD. They were first noticed by European settlers in the early 20th century, and prior to their mistreatment were regarded as one of the finest collections of rock art in Namibia.

The first excavation of the cave took place in 1917. The archaeologist, Abbe Breuil inspected the art in 1948. He found a deep, high shelter, the floor of which was covered in stone implements. The back wall of the cave was covered in paintings.

In addition to the main cave, rock art is also located in two caves diagonally opposite the main cave, and around the waterfall near the two smaller caves.

Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes

Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes has one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs, i.e. rock engravings in Africa. Most of these well-preserved engravings represent rhinoceros, the site also includes six painted elephant, ostrich, and giraffe, as well as drawings of human and animal footprints 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.

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