New Rock Art & Heritage Site at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

phillipskop-cave-inside

Inside the cave at Phillpskop Phillpskop Mountain Reserve

Phillipskop Mountain Reserve spans over 246ha of the pristine southerly slopes of the Klein River Mountains just to the east of Stanford in the Western Cape. Earlier this year some cave paintings were discovered in the spacious cave and since then they have been working hand in hand with archaeologists and Heritage Western Cape to investigate and record this rock art, and to develop a management plan to care for it.

The Phillipskop Rock Art site is truly special as it is the only rock art ever recorded on the Cape Whale Coast! Heritage Western Cape has officially designated the site as a Grade IIIA Heritage Site (High Local Significance).

This rock art not only reflects the life of the past, but also the cultural conceptions of the artists, and it is of important historical, cultural and educational value.

The paintings, which depict a group of men, an antelope, and various decorated hand-prints and finger dots, represent both the San hunter-gatherer and the Khoe (more commonly known as Khoi) herder traditions which began thousands of years ago and persisted into early colonial times.

Handprints   Phillipskop Mountain Reserve - Rock Art & Heritage Site at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

Handprints Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

The rock art is situated in a large, sheltered cave near a stream ? an ideal shelter for San and Khoe people. It is thought that the decorated handprints and finger dots are the work of Khoe pastoralists, and are approximately 1,000 ? 2,000 years old. The fine-line human figures and antelope paintings represent the work of San hunter-gatherers, and are likely to be significantly older.

Fine line humans   Phillipskop Mountain Reserve - Rock Art & Heritage Site at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

Fine line humans Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

Fine line antelope   Phillipskop Mountain Reserve - Rock Art & Heritage Site at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

Fine line antelope Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

Although there are many thousands of rock art sites in Western Cape, the majority of these are clustered in areas such as the Cederberg. The rock art at Phillipskop extends the known geographical range of Khoe-San paintings.

The reserve is open every day and day visitors are welcome by arrangement; please phone in advance – 073 621 1808. Alternatively you can extend your stay by booking a lovely eco-friendly, self-catering cottage, ideal for a family/group nature getaway and for couples wanting to escape to the peace and tranquility of the Overberg.

Phillipskop Mountain Reserve is a half an hour drive from Hermanus, 3km off the R326 east of Stanford. The rock art site is situated in a cave, 30-40 minutes ? walk from the reserve ?s reception and car-park, and will be opening to the public on 1 December 2016.

  • Day visitor entrance fee: R40 per adult; R20 per child.
  • The reserve is a conservation area, no dogs are allowed.
  • For more information and details of accommodation, hiking trails and guided walks at Phillipskop, visit www.phillipskop.co.za

Did you know? Khoe is more commonly spelt Khoi, but Khoi is the English spelling of the word and the Khoe people prefer the spelling Khoe. Therefore, out of respect, Phillipskop prefer to use this spelling. Khoe is pronounced the same way as Khoi.

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