- Museum number
Digital photograph (colour); view of painted rock art on a rock face, including landscape and showing an elephant calf outlined in red and infilled in yellow, depicted upright facing left. The figure is depicted on the wall of a rock shelter. Several trees can be seen in the background. Mashonaland, Zimbabwe.
- Production date
1996 (February-March original photograph)
03 May 2006 (date digitized)
File size: 120 megabytes
Resolution: 300 dots per inch
- Curator's comments
- See 2013,2034.22675 to 2013,2034.22678 for different views and close-ups of the rock art images.
The site is located in Mashonaland, one of the main rock art areas in Zimbabwe located to the north of the country, near the border with Mozambique. It is an area full of granite hills and boulders that provide excellent shelters for the paintings. The total number of Zimbabwean rock art sites is unknown, but estimations made point to thousands of sites throughout the country, and consist mainly in paintings although some engravings have been documented too. Zimbabwean rock art was first reported by Europeans in 1927 and studied by Leo Frobenius and a German team in 1928, and by Elizabeth Mannsfeld-Goodall afterwards. Since the 80’s Peter Garlake developed the most comprehensive studies about Zimbabwean rock art, integrating it within the general framework of Southern Africa and raising awareness about the importance of these archaeological expressions.
The rock art of Zimbabwe consist mostly in painted figures infilled or outlined usually with just one colour, although bichrome examples are also known. Human figures are majority, usually depicted doing different activities -hunting, walking, dancing-, in some cases being part of complex panels interpreted as trance-like scenes similar to those of South Africa. Along with human figures, animals are widely represented in Zimbabwean rock art, with kudu depictions dominating, zebra and antelopes well represented and other many species present but more scarcely painted. Human figures and animals are accompanied by many geometric symbols, usually related to trance-like context and including dots, wavy lines or stripes. Traditionally, the themes expressed in Zimbabwean rock art have been identified as the same of the San|Bushmen from South Africa but there are also differences and the lack of ethnographic information for Zimbabwean paintings and their older chronology make difficult to establish the same type of associations as those made for other areas with more direct evidences, as happens in South Africa.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: ZIMMSL0070001 (TARA number)