Ancient Rock Art a Highlight of New Heritage Site

Phillipskop Mountain Reserve. Image Credit: Cape Argus

Rock paintings that could date back as much as 2000 years have become part of the Western Cape’s newest heritage site.

The paintings were found in a cave in the Phillipskop Mountain Reserve along the Cape Whale Coast, and depict scenes including a group of men, an antelope, hand prints and dots formed with finger tips. Researchers have concluded that the paintings portray the ancient traditions of the first inhabitants of the Western Cape – the hunting patterns of the San and herding traditions of the Khoi.

The paintings were discovered back in March by a team of archaeologists headed by heritage practitioner Anthony Manhire. The site where the paintings were found, designated PHK001, has been under study since 2007.

Before heritage status could be granted, a management plan had to be drawn up for the protection and maintenance of the rock paintings and to ensure Phillipskop Mountain Reserve is, and remains, safe for the public.

The directors of the Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, Christopher and Anna Whitehouse, have stated that the site, a 30-minute drive from Hermanus, should be available for public viewing from 31 November. It is recommended that visitors book in advance. 

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Source: Cape Argus app


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