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The Artists of Twyfelfontein
Friday 11 December 2020

The Artists of /Ui- //aes

Twyfelfontein, Namibia

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Artists /Ui- //aes Twyfelfontein Namibia UNESCO World Heritage Site petroglyphs rock art
Petroglyphs of animals at Twyfelfontein

The rock art at Twyfelfontein was probably produced during the dry season, and around 5,000 years ago when the climate was even drier than at present, because the shortage of water and food forced people to congregate near the spring. This then became a time of intense ritual activity.

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Rituals helped to strengthen the values and cohesion of the group: they were performed during initiation into adulthood, to heal the sick, to ensure successful hunting, and to make rain.

Artists /Ui- //aes Twyfelfontein Namibia UNESCO World Heritage Site petroglyphs rock art
Rock paintings at Twyfelfontein

The ritual traditions represented in the rock art of Twyfelfontein saw their greatest flowering during the last 5,000 years; a period of increasing aridity during which hunter-gatherer communities developed and perfected a wide range of economic survival strategies.

Artists /Ui- //aes Twyfelfontein Namibia UNESCO World Heritage Site petroglyphs rock art
Carved geometric patterns at Twyfelfontein

Researchers believe the rock art of Twyfelfontein was the preserve of the medicine people, or shamans, and had 2 functions: as a means to enter the supernatural world - the spirit world - and to record the shaman's experiences in that world.

Click here for the UNESCO World Heritage rock art sites

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ROCK ART
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by Bradshaw Foundation
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