Dec 192013

The San-Bushman Were Here

Megaliths of Scotland


Bushman of the Bushveld

Question… Did the Bushveld ever have San (Bushman) people? And… Does the bushveld have Megaliths? Oh yes, to both of those questions. Do I mean rock art? The answer is yes and the paintings were done by the same San people’s ancestors who are famous for their rock art in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

James Stevenson-Hamilton, the Kruger Park’s founding game ranger, discovered the first rock paintings there in 1911. There are now over 120 locations of rock art in the Kruger Park. Both the Megalith makers and the San cared enough about themselves and future generations to leave art forms to tell their story. Rock art is literature and the same literature as I hope this article is going to turn out to be.

Adam’s Calendar at the Bushveld


The Art of History

In Art history, the definition of prehistoric art is that which was created in pre-literate times, when man kept history alive by oral tradition. Record keeping was limited to visual traces left behind in the form of cave paintings, megalithic constructions, (standing stones) and other prehistoric mementos. Every continent and many islands have their own special reminders of those who went before, because their literature still remains.

On the hilltops near Kaapsehoop is Adam’s Calendar (a date time calendar). Adam’s Calendar, not made by the San, is a little known secret and recently discovered Megalith site at the bushveld escarpment in the province of Mpumalanga South Africa. This is a well laid out Megalith for measuring the seasons and more, that points to the constellation of Orion.

Tsodilo Hills Discovered by Laurens-van-der-Post


Were we First on the Earth?

The world is littered with visual cues that we weren’t the first. Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers, Generation Y-ers, Millennials; we’re only the latest in the lengthy parade of humanity. Let’s go back to long ago; when man was still struggling to explain his own world and understand his place in the greater scheme of things. Without written language and with limited materials, he celebrated, recorded, worshiped and calculated, using the primitive means at his disposal.

San Rock Painting – Cederberg


They Left Clues

Obviously creationists, evolutionists, realists, romanticists and anyone in between have to admit that these relics exist. Too many have seen them, studied them, photographed them, postulated on their origins and venerated them over the years, for them not to have meaning. Now for the most part, they’re ignored.

In Scotland, we lived a few scant miles from a small group of stones, littering what was a sheep pasture, on the road to the Isle of Mull. Few went to visit them. Travelers on the busy road mostly never saw them as they sped by in their cars, but those stones exuded a powerful presence. A presence that seems to say… “We were here and we did this.”

Kruger Park Rock Art Hill


The San-Bushman all Over South Africa

Now, back in Africa, we are fairly close to the celebrated San rock art, which is all over Southern Africa. Unless for example you’re willing to leave the air-conditioned comfort of your vehicle and hike into the heart of the Cederburg reserve. To the peaks of the Drakensburg, or the Kruger Park hills, you’ll never know how powerful these San images painted on the walls of a cave can be.

San-Bushman Bushveld Rock Art


History With a Checkered Past

Today, the world mostly ignores written history. Unless it’s the convenient sort of history, stirring patriotism, or national pride, useful to the powers that be. Anything embarrassing, politically incorrect, or otherwise unaligned with popular opinion goes largely ignored unless Hollywood can turn it into a three sequel, money-spinner. History has become pliant, rewritten to suit the political motive of the day or been wiped out because it doesn’t sit well with the current ideology. Easy to do with written history; but look how many elements of visually recorded history are still with us, providing windows into the ancient world.

Unfortunately, for the most part, Megaliths and rock art are largely overlooked. After all, if you’ve seen one cave painting you’ve seen them all. And what’s the big deal about all those slabs of stone…yawn…seen one, blah, blah, blah.

San-Bushman Paintings Zimbabwe


Bushveld Rock Art

So what does Adam’s Calendar in Kaapsehoop or the Cederburg cave paintings or Scotland’s standing stones have to do with us? If you care about art or literature you will be interested in these arts and literature as well, because they all depict cultures, arts and literature never before seen. If you are reading this you must like literature.

The San-Bushman rock art sites in the Kruger Park can be viewed by taking the Bushman Walking Trails, offered in the park. Should you ever have a chance to visit any prehistoric sites and see their windows into a world long gone, you may be surprised by their air of grace and dignity…


Adam’s Calendar Video



Site Map

To Share This Article:


Meet Our Authors: The Wildmoz team, Cari and Moz, have a lifelong passion for the Bushveld and share adventures and stories about Africa's good things. Wildmoz is Africa - the cradle of life! Travel writing about wildlife, African folklore, wildlife art, Kruger Park and wildlife safari info! Taste life as it is in Africa.
 Posted by on December 19, 2013
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE