Monthly Meeting

EXPLORING THE PAINTED WORLD OF THE ANCIENT SAN BUSHMEN OF ZIMBABWE: FROM ANTBEARS TO KUDUS AND BEYOND

Anne Q. Stoll

7:30 PM, Tuesday, February 16, 2021

via Zoom at your Computer or Smart Phone

VIRTUAL MEETING

Beginning at least 13,000 years ago, prehistoric hunter-foragers we now call San Bushmen occupied the lush landscape of southern Africa. The painted walls of their shelters in the granite kopjes of Zimbabwe clearly represent an important expression of their beliefs. Well-documented works by David Lewis-Williams and others have convincingly asserted that these cave paintings were connected to ancient healing rituals. Many figures assuming postures associated with the ritual trance dance can be seen in San rock art. However, as no ethnography exists for the most ancient people of Zimbabwe, the interpretation of these prehistoric images remains open and ongoing. Most San Bushman rock art is strikingly representational. The wild animals that once lived in vast herds on the highveld plateau were depicted with such accuracy and vividness that species and sex can usually be identified. In the shelters of eastern Zimbabwe, frequencies of animal depictions and human-animal interactions suggest relationships of ritual significance, as will be explored in this presentation.

Anne Q. Stoll, MA anthropology, enjoyed a professional career as a field archaeologist, writer, editor, instructor, and lecturer in archaeology and anthropology beginning in 1984. In 1999 she joined the cultural resources staff at Statistical Research Inc., Redlands, California, and she remains a Research Associate with this organization. Since retirement, she has maintained an active interest in prehistoric rock art research, presenting and publishing papers on African, Mexican, and Brazilian sites and speaking for a wide spectrum of audiences.

The photographer for the work is George Stoll, PhD, emeritus professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has pursued an avid interest in outdoor photography for over 45 years. Together the Stolls forged connections with the Shona people of Zimbabwe and, with their help, the pair visited many major sites in the Matopos and around the capital, Harare, where they photo-documented the ancient paintings. After a brief hiatus, the Stolls returned to Zimbabwe in July 2019 to continue their explorations. At that time, they were granted access to photograph and meet the tribal owners of a number of traditional sites near Chibi towns and Rusape. They are working now as part of the collaborative effort to gain assistance for the Museum of Human Sciences in Harare and all endangered cultural heritage throughout the country of Zimbabwe.

As usual, an email will go out this weekend with the Zoom invitation. The meeting will start at 7:00, to give people more time to trickle in and have some social time, with the business meeting to start at 7:30.

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The Albuquerque Archaeological Society is an avocational group that advocates preserving archaeological and other cultural resources by informing members and the public about archaeological and ethnological subjects through our meetings, presentations, newsletter, other electronic media, field trips, volunteer efforts, field surveys, and studies. Membership is only $25 for an individual or family, and it’s free to students with a Student ID or current class schedule. Membership puts you on our mailing list for our monthly newsletter, and gives you access to our field trips, volunteering endeavors, and our seminars. However, our meetings are always free and open to the public, with a guest lecturer and refreshments, great conversation, and the chance to socialize with those who share an interest in archaeology, both professionals and avocational members. Come see what we’re all about! We’d love your company!

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