Zimbabwe rock art


I’ve recently discovered Mayday 34°35’S 150°36’E, a “Finnish-Australian blog about survival in rural New South Wales”, Australia. Anni Heimo writes her posts in both Finnish and English.

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to read: “Somewhere in 1990s, I was lucky enough to make a special trip, driving from Mozambique through South Africa to Zimbabwe to see, among other things, the rock paintings in the Matobo National Park.” Read about her experience and enjoy the lovely photos! I’m a bit envious, but inspired to learn a bit more about Zimbabwe’s rock art.

The beautiful Matobo Hills are steeped in the country’s history, and hold the highest density of San (Bushman) rock paintings in Africa. Matobo Hills was named world heritage site by UNESCO.

The area exhibits a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe”. According to Wikipedia, “San (Bushmen) lived in the hills about 2,000 years ago, leaving a rich heritage in hundreds of rock paintings. In the many crevices and caves, clay ovens and other historic artefacts have been found…The hills are regarded as sacred by the Shona and many other peoples of Southern Africa. Many rituals and other religious activities are performed in the hills.

The wikipedia site has a few photos of the cave paintings and some unusual standing stones.

And of course the excellent Bradshaw Foundation pages (that I’ve mentioned several times in the past) include this site amongst the many in Africa, with a couple of gorgeous photos of the cave paintings, one of which is above.

October 19, 2005 in Rock Art & Archaeology by Marja-Leena