Southern Africa

Southern Africa is home to one of the most remarkable rock art traditions in the world. Our activities in this region aim to analyse the role of acoustics in the production and use of rock art made by the ancestors of the San people. The paintings and engravings found in this region encompass a wide number of representations, composed by human figures, different types of animals –elands in particular, which are considered sacred– and therianthropes (composite motifs of human-animal beings). These figures tend to appear in groups often forming highly complex scenes interpreted as representations of rituals and events that took place in a spiritual world populated by mythological beings. Establishing a precise chronological framework for this rock art is a challenging task. However, direct dating indicates that the oldest representations of this region would were produced more than 5000 years ago.

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