Author of the Month

Star Beings In Stone? —A Rock Art Site In Central South Africa (cont.)
By Gary A. David

On a panel downstream from the main section of the site, we also found petroglyphs that represented a number of animals: eland, elephant, rhino, baboon, anteater, and warthog. We encountered a few human-shaped engravings cut into the horizontal surface as well, which in some cases was as flat as a paved roadway.

Because rock art is difficult to date, the time frame of these images frozen in stone is anybody’s educated guess. Estimates range widely—from between the 10th millennium BC and the end of the first millennium AD.

Whenever the Driekopseiland glyphs were incised, they certainly took a long time to make. In other words, these labor-intensive markings were no idle doodling to wile away a hot afternoon. Andesite is a fairly hard mineral, and is rated 6 on the Mohs scale. Granite is a bit harder at 6.5 and quartz is only 7. Diamond is the hardest mineral and rates 10 on the scale.

Mined for thousands of years not far from here, the holy “Stones of the Sun” were most likely used to carve this hard rock. In 1866, these valuable gems were discovered downstream from the confluence of the Orange and Vaal Rivers, and hordes of miners flooded the area. Kimberley, of course, is now home to the world-famous De Beers corporation, whose “Big Hole” and museum Rob, Slava, and I later visited.

The author, Rob Milne, and San guide Adam. Photo © by Bronislava Milne.

Foreground: profile of creature with headdress framed by natural triangular fractures.

Celtic crosses (upper-left), sunburst, abstracts. Photo © by Bronislava Milne.

Lunar calendar:13 lines inside inner circle and 28 lines in outer circle.

Cupules forming space-capsule cone (?). Ingot shape (upper-left) is one of a group.

Geometric petroglyphs at Driekopseiland. Photo © by Bronislava Milne.
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