Namibia’s Animal Footprint Rock Art Examined

Namibia Animal Tracl ArtERLANGEN, GERMANY—According to a statement released by the Public Library of Science, Andreas Pastoors of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and his colleagues consulted current-day trackers from the Nyae Nyae Conservancy while examining rock art in central Western Namibia. The Paleolithic engravings depict human and animal footprints. The Kalahari Desert trackers were able to identify the species, sex, age group, and leg of the animal footprint images in more than 90 percent of the 513 engravings. The data suggests that the hunter-gatherer engravers were more likely to depict the footprints of adult animals and men’s footprints. The study also found that more diversity among the animals was represented in the footprint images than has been found in ancient engravings of the animals themselves. Continuing consultation with trackers from the Nyae Nyae Conservancy could shed light on these poorly understood patterns, the researchers concluded. Read the original scholarly article about this research in PLOS ONE. To read about a cave in the Kalahari Desert that may be the oldest home inhabited by human ancestors, go to “Around the World: South Africa.”

Source: archaeology.org

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