While we’re on the subject of geometry, perhaps Euclidean principle should get a mention?
The Cederberg Mountains lie just 350 kms north of Cape Town and contain an extraordinary heritage of rock art by the San Bushmen. There are thousands of sites which record a visual story of their beliefs and the environment. Some of the paintings are executed with such artistry and flow with grace and beauty.
Here “The Archer” has perfect proportions and it’s clear that the artist understood the principle of Euclidean geometric construction techniques. The bow is the arc of a perfect circle, centered on the archer’s left shoulder. The bowstrings are of equal length and the archer hands are perfectly placed on a radius of the circle.
The painting is found in a site on the Sevilla Trail area which is dated back 1600 to 2000 years and could possibly go back even further to 8000 years.
14 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry II”
I have read about this, but never seen it. Quite amazing that the painting has lasted so long.
Yes, it is amazing that the colour survives, although the pigment derived from organic material has mostly faded away – particularly white and black. Red, yellow, blue, green have been found in the paintings. Some images have strange outlines, like the “hook head” figures where it’s assumed the faces where painted in white and have since faded away. Such antiquity!
Isn’t it amazing that we can see those creations from so long ago? Whenever I see something that old I wonder about the lives of the people who made it. The San are fascinating, I would love to visit them, I like it that their lives have changed so little.
Yes, it’s an amazing legacy. They truly lived in harmony with nature. It’s sad though that they were so persecuted. I hope to post more on their rock art and culture this month.
How strange, how interesting. I just made a post about rock art too, from the opposite part of the world.. Impressive works from prehistoric times, both places.
Blogging synchronicity? 🙂 Had a look at your reindeer posts and it is fascinating what the rock art portrays – the animist beliefs and the collective unconscious. Comes back to how interconnected we all are.
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I thought that was very interesting too. We have great heritage rock carvings where I come from too, The ancient Trail, Oldtidsveien.
So many overlapping patterns, the collective unconsious, human development. The ancient trail, has such a ring about it. Was it stone-age, or later? It’s intriguing what was recorded in those times, the animals and spiritual connections.
Truly amazing and rich with historical significance. 😉
Must admit i’m in awe of the historical significance. The San are truly a unique branch of humanity.
Really unusual and interesting post. I’ve seen photos of petroglyphs before, but never that geometric arc of a bow like that.
Yes, one can get wrapped up in awe… the artists understood not only the workings of the craft, but balance and proportion.
Another place to visit!!!
M, it’s a wondrous place, the Cederberg. It kind of gets you in its thrall.