Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finding my own bushman painting

Did you watch Indiana Jones? Sure you did. Do you dream of treasure hunting or finding lost stuff? It's exciting. Most of us don't really have the chance to do that in our lives unless we are academics or museum staff. But I have. I didn't find a lost city (Ark of the Covenant in the case of Indiana Jones)...I found one single, unclear bushman painting in the mountains near Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge in 2004. It's my lost city...I still love going back there and having a look at it. To the best of my knowledge, no people saw this painting between the bushmen who painted it (perhaps a hundred years ago, perhaps a little longer) and me. How special is that.

While I worked as a guide and assistant manager at Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge, I had the pleasure of meeting many interesting people. One of those was one of our guest astronomers who had a special interest in archeology and know a lot about bushmen. While he stayed at the lodge (around May 2004) he found an overhang with some bushmen paintings in it. I got excited. I learned what I could, and set out on a quest to find bushmen rock art in the surrounding hills. I learned a lot and found many other artifacts. For a while I thought thought that I would never find any rock art, but then one day in a ravine, I managed to spot a painting near a seasonal waterhole. It was faint, but there is no mistaking what it is, a single springbok painted on the rock. There is what appears to be a rhino above it, but that's it.

Interested in bushman rock art:

Bushmen Rock Art

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