UP Archaeology 2nd Year Fieldschool Discovers 7 new Rock Art Sites

Posted on November 10, 2009

From September 24 (appropriately enough – Heritage Day) until October 3rd, 11 2nd year Archaeology students braved alternately hot and freezing weather to uncover some of the archaeological mysteries of the Wonderhoek – a mountain fastness located just north of Molteno in the Eastern Cape Province. En route to this destination, the students, led by Dr. Sven Ouzman, learnt about the management and public presentation of rock art sites at Tandjesberg (Ladybrand, Free State) and Denorbin (Barkly East, Eastern Cape).

In the Wonderhoek, teams searched for San (Bushman), Khoekhoen (Khoi) and European (White) rock art. They were rewarded with finding and recording 7 sites. One site includes spectacular imagery of over 60 fat-tailed sheep, 12 cattle and more than 15 paintings of horses ridden by people carrying guns – an insider or San view of European colonialism in this region.

At other sites a rare depiction of a blue wildebeest, felines, eland, and a rain-animal surrounded by fish were located. A highlight of the trip was a visit to Stephen Townley Bassett, an artist who makes copies of rock art using the natural pigments the San may have used in the past. In-keeping with a UP fieldtrip, we returned home via Bulhoek – birthplace of Paul Kruger – interested less in the Afrikaner nationalistic monuments as the thousands of ancient stone tools that occur all around Bulhoek.

Fieldschools are held for each of the undergraduate years.

In April the 1st years went to Limpopo to excavate with Mr. Johan Nel and in July the 3rd years and postgraduates went to the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape to survey and excavate under leadership of Dr. Alex Schoeman.


Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences