Africa Praehistorica 13, Köln 2001
Tilman Lenssen-Erz::

- 432 pp.
- 168 line illustrations
- 6 bw. photographs
- 77 tables
- 23 plates
- hardcover, half linen-bound, size 21 x 28 cm

ISBN 3-927688-19-3

Recommended price: 20,00 EUR

The rock art of the Brandberg in Namibia is unique in the comprehensiveness and quality of its documentation and subsequent publication. The present study is based upon data from all rock art within a 135 km² area of the southern Brandberg - the whole corpus of rock art from the first three volumes of H. Pager "The Rock Paintings of the Upper Brandberg". This study analyzes 17,000 figures, 2,100 scenes, 1,600 superimpositions and 327 sites, and covers the full spectrum of landscape types encountered there, from the foot of the mountain up to its peaks.
This broad empirical base is the foundation of the new method of textual rock art archaeology which understands rock art as a means of human communication in which communicative utterances become comprehensible only through a matrix of rules. This study elaborates on the principles of how messages are conveyed through rock art. The method also provides insight into the meaning, the social background and the landscape setting of the rock art messages, enabling comprehensive interpretations of a life-world in terms of social and symbolic features, such as gender roles or the significance of animal motifs. However, the fundamental message of this art tradition lies in the outline of three major ideals of this prehistoric society, i.e. community, equality and mobility.
In addition, rock paintings from the south side of the Brandberg, documented by E.R. Scherz from the 1960s on, are reproduced here for the first time.