PICTOGRAPH

TWYFELFONTEIN

Simple crop (panoramic)

Twyfelfontein (Afrikaans: uncertain spring), officially known as ǀUi ǁAis (Damara/Nama: jumping waterhole), is a site of one of the largest concentrations of rock petro glyphs in Africa, with at least 2,500 individual carvings having been identified.

It is situated in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia in the transitional zone between semi desert, savannah and scrubland. The area consists of a valley flanked by the slopes of fossilised sand dunes forming table-topped sandstone mountains.

Twyfelfontein valley has been inhabited by Stone-age hunter-gatherers since approximately 6,000 years ago. These, the original inhabitants, made most of the engravings and probably all the paintings. 2,000 to 2,500 years ago the Khoikhoi, an ethnic group related to the San (Bushmen), occupied the valley. The Khoikhoi also produced rock art which can clearly be distinguished from the older engravings. Both ethnic groups used it as a place of worship and a site to conduct shamanist rituals.

UNESCO approved Twyfelfontein as Namibia's first World Heritage Site in 2007.