From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3

From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3

From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3

From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3

Sitting in the shade under a rock outcrop, they looked out across the valley and even further out into the distant plains. Herds of animals meandered slowly past now the rains had finally come, pausing now and then to smell the scents carried on the wind or to reach for a juicy leaf. The animals were always going to come as the messages from their ancestors carved into the rocks nearby told them of the beasts they had seen here, that were provided for them. Maps carved into the rock of the nearby springs and seasonal streams were added to when new finds were made, new animals carved when big herds arrived; the children were even taught to match the animals to the tracks they made, to hunt for food and avoid the dangerous rhinos and lions.

Can we really know why these hunters spent time 6,000 years ago carving thousands of separate images into the rocks in these hills?  Members of the present day Damara tribe, some of whom live a life in the surrounding hills that wouldn’t seem so different to the ancient hunters that carved these pictures, tell a story of the images being messages for nomadic visitors passing through the lands. An information sign that all who understood the lands and environment of that time could read. It’s a beautiful idea when you think about it; sharing all we have with visitors from faraway lands.

Sitting in the shade under a rock outcrop, they looked out across the valley and even further out into the distant plains. Herds of animals meandered slowly past now the rains had finally come, pausing now and then to smell the scents carried on the wind or to reach for a juicy leaf. The animals were always going to come as the messages from their ancestors carved into the rocks nearby told them of the beasts they had seen here, that were provided for them. Maps carved into the rock of the nearby springs and seasonal streams were added to when new finds were made, new animals carved when big herds arrived; the children were even taught to match the animals to the tracks they made, to hunt for food and avoid the dangerous rhinos and lions.

Can we really know why these hunters spent time 6,000 years ago carving thousands of separate images into the rocks in these hills?  Members of the present day Damara tribe, some of whom live a life in the surrounding hills that wouldn’t seem so different to the ancient hunters that carved these pictures, tell a story of the images being messages for nomadic visitors passing through the lands. An information sign that all who understood the lands and environment of that time could read. It’s a beautiful idea when you think about it; sharing all we have with visitors from faraway lands.

Rock Engraving2
Rock Engraving2

Recent studies have found that these San hunters have ancient roots and their ancestors may have held the maternal origins of Homo sapiens, migrating from the wetlands of northern Botswana north-east and also south-west, though these lands. Most likely there was intermingling of populations that developed separately in different areas of Africa when separated by deserts and mountains, linking up again when vegetation corridors driven by weather changes drove migration into new lands. If this holds to be true, this creates a romantic image of our early wandering ancestors. Finding new unknown peoples in this land that have slightly different tools, face paint markings and speak with strange sounds. Would these differences have been attractive, like when a new person joins mid-year at school and they seem somehow exotic?

With so few people roaming the world just 6,000 years ago, fertile lands and animals must have been in abundance during periods of heavy rainfall. Did this enable sharing and collaboration with others, even allow the time to spend carving into rocks instead of hunting desperately for food? I’d like to believe this is how these carvings came to be.

Recent studies have found that these San hunters have ancient roots and their ancestors may have held the maternal origins of Homo sapiens, migrating from the wetlands of northern Botswana north-east and also south-west, though these lands. Most likely there was intermingling of populations that developed separately in different areas of Africa when separated by deserts and mountains, linking up again when vegetation corridors driven by weather changes drove migration into new lands. If this holds to be true, this creates a romantic image of our early wandering ancestors. Finding new unknown peoples in this land that have slightly different tools, face paint markings and speak with strange sounds. Would these differences have been attractive, like when a new person joins mid-year at school and they seem somehow exotic?

With so few people roaming the world just 6,000 years ago, fertile lands and animals must have been in abundance during periods of heavy rainfall. Did this enable sharing and collaboration with others, even allow the time to spend carving into rocks instead of hunting desperately for food? I’d like to believe this is how these carvings came to be.

  • Alone On Mykines // Faroe Islands // RW1
  • French Mountain-Fearing // RW2
  • Arctic Circle Trail // Greenland // RW1
  • From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3
  • Lost in Hope // England // RW4
  • Alone On Mykines // Faroe Islands // RW1
  • French Mountain-Fearing // RW2
  • Arctic Circle Trail // Greenland // RW1
  • From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3
  • Lost in Hope // England // RW4