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Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: Late Stone Age
Date of Inscription: 2007
Location: Africa, Namibia, Kunene Region
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Description: Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes boasts one of Africa’s largest concentrations of petroglyphs (rock engravings); so far more than 2,000 figures have been documented. A good number of these well-preserved engravings show rhinoceroses, elephants, ostriches, and giraffes, there are also numerous drawings of human and animal footprints. The site also contains six painted rock shelters with human figural motifs in red ochre. Two parts of the property have had objects excavated that date from the Late Stone Age, among them stone artifacts, ostrich eggshell beads, and schist pendants. Human, or of flying bird representations are rare and historians have suggested that these figures might have been created to demonstrate the ritual transformation of humans into animals. The most renowned instance is the ‘Lion Man' which consists of a lion with five toed paws. The visible imagery indicates that rock art was allied with the local hunter-gatherer belief system until the arrival of pastoralists around 1000 AD. The site shapes an articulate, all-embracing and high quality testimony spanning over at least 2,000 years of hunter-gatherer community’s ritual practices in this part of southern Africa. The links between the ritual and economic practices of hunter-gatherers are also powerfully demonstrated within the site. This is Namibia's first World Heritage site. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Twyfelfontein is a site in the Kunene Region of Namibia containing 2,000 figures of rock carvings. In 2007, UNESCO approved it as Namibia's first World Heritage Site. The figures at Twyfelfontein were created over a couple of thousand years before 1000 AD. The hunter-gatherers who lived in the region created them as part of their rituals. The carvings represent rhinoceroses, elephants, ostrichs and giraffes as well as depictions of human and animal footprints. Some of the figures notably the "Lion Man" depict the transformation of humans into animals. Archaeologists have dug objects from two parts of the site including stone artefacts, pendants and beads. Twyfelfontein also contains six rock shelters containing depictions of humans painted in red ochre. The creation of new works was probably ended by the arrival of pastoral tribes around 1000 AD. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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