Swaziland

Most of Swaziland’s rock art occurs on granite outcrops, boulders and riverine environments around altitudes of 1000 to 1400 metre not far from the edge/escarpment of the Central African Plateau. The sites also tend to be associated with chert and haematite sources. There is for example a high proportion of recorded sites not far from the Ngwenya mine, a known prehistoric source of high quality haematite. The Komati River meanwhile distributes high grade chert west to east across the country in an area with few grained rock sources for tool fabrication. The Sotho River by contrast does not have these and is consequently far less important archaeologically. Some areas such as the Piggs Peak and Usutu forests are still relatively unexplored and may yield more sites in the future. All the Rock art in Swaziland is the work of ancestral San or Bushmen. And is similar in style and content to the Bushman art of the Drakensberg National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For further information on Swaziland’s rock art please consult The Archaeology of Swaziland by J.R. Masson, or his published papers. Image credit/copyright: Mauro Almaviva and Bob Forrester.