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Twyfelfontein

UNESCO World Heritage Site and unique rock engravings

Twyfelfontein, which means as much as „doubtful fountain“ or „Fountain of Doubt“ is the name of a valley in the Damara highland about 70 km west of Khorixas. The valley was inhabited by the Damara, who call the valley Uri-Ais (jumping fountain) in their language.

In 1947 white farmers settled in the valley, but the fountain was unreliable and only had little water. The farms were abandoned by the white settlers due to the Odendaal plan in 1964, where the local population of Namibia was relocated in "Homelands".

Specifications

Type
Landmark
Sleep
Lodge
Campsites
In the area
Location
Damaraland
Activities
Short walking trails
Rock engravings

Rock engravings at Twyfelfontein

Twyfelfontein is famous because of its many rock paintings and rock engravings (Petroglyphs) of the San (Bushmen) of which 2500 were counted. Specifications about the age of the engravings fluctuate and a period of 1000 – 10000 years is stated. Remarkable is that the engravings were made without the use of metal tools. It is presumed that quartz tools were used instead as many quartz chips were found here.

The motives of the rock engravings are on the one hand hunting scenes, in which the hunters are pictured with bow and arrow. On the other hand many animal engravings (antelopes, zebras, giraffes, lions, etc.) are depicted. Remarkable is also the engraving of a seal, as the ocean is about 100 km away.

The valley was declared a national monument in 1952 to stop the common stealing of rock engravings. The paintings/ engravings can only be visited with a local guide. UNESCO declared Twyfelfontein as World Heritage Site in 2007.

 

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