Twyfelfontein - A Survey into the Relationship between Animal-Engravings & Cupules



    Site 13 – Twyfelfontein Main Site Complex
Am Fuss des Westlichen Berghanges
Site H on Scherz’s Map (H in Figure 14)
S 20° 35’ 52’’ / E 14° 22’ 26”
Site Description
This site is located on the lowermost slopes, 600m contour on the southern side of the watercourse that flows from the valley sides. There is a nice level area with large rock block associated in a natural rock amphitheatre. The area has a good view of the dominant massive engraved rock block at Site 9 (D) and also of Site 14 (I).
Associated Archaeology
There seem to be small pockets of softer deposit among rock blocks but the main living area has both been picked clean by visitors and by the construction of the tourist path. Water also washes down here occasionally, carrying cultural material with it.
Description: Am Fuss des Westlichen Berghanges' rock art
There are a number of large rock blocks - at least 10 that bear rock engravings, almost all of which seem to be Bushman-authored and they comprise at least 120 images.
Spoor rock (Figure 93): The most visually spectacular and densely engraved rock that is dominated by two huge 480mm x 390mm spoor – probably rhinoceros. There is a lot of other spoor engraved such as the 7-toed human footprint, giraffe, antelope and feline, including a 7-toed feline with claws extended. There is also equid, giraffe, rhino and ostrich in pecked-infill technique. Also roughly pecked circles with central cupules and a fine pecked-infill upside-down bird such as is pecked at Site 9 (D).
Giraffe rock: At the tip of a long, horizontal needle-like rock, one of the many that encircle the amphitheatre, is a very nice giraffe engraved with several others in pecked-outline and pecked-infill.
Large tilted spoor block: This location is upslope and north of the main spoor rock on a vast sloping surface. There is a large giraffe spoor here and some rough pecked-outline giraffe (2) near rhino, one of which has a very long horn. There are two possible human figures.
Other imagery: Less densely scattered about on rocks are engravings of antelope, giraffe, ?jackal, oryx, ostrich, rhino a possible wildebeest and zebra. Spoors abound along with some more rough pecked-outline circles and geometric motifs. Rhino are dominant.
Threat(s) to site: The main spoor panel appears very worn and superimposed. Most of the other imagery is in a good condition with good sheltering from the worst of the elements. Also, because many of the images are on upper, hard to reach surfaces, animals and humans are kept at a tolerable distance from the art.
A Survey into the Relationship between Animal-Engravings & Cupules
The Rock Art of Twyfelfontein
The Rock Art of Namibia
The African Rock Art Archive
Bradshaw Foundation
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