Exploring Regional Variation in Southern African Rock Art

A public lecture by Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu

as part of the Public Lecture Series Rock Art & Symbolic Expression. A Southern Africa – France Dialogue


Thursday 20 September 2018

18.00 for 18.30 | Origins Centre Museum

Wits University, West Campus, Corner of Yale Road &, Enoch Sontonga Ave, Johannesburg

Southern African rock art has been extensively recorded and interpreted for well over a century. But it is during the last four decades, following the application of the ethnographic approach in rock art studies, that rock art researchers have made significant advancements in our understanding of the meaning behind rock art. Southern African rock art is now considered to be religious, rather than a reflection of day to day activities or hunting magic. While this is plausible, regional variation of rock art has received less attention compared to the period before the application of ethnographic approach in rock art studies. In his lecture, Ndukuyakhe Nldovu shall thus explore the potential benefits of using such a geographically based approach to interpreting Southern African rock art.


Ndukuyakhe Nldovu is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Pretoria. After studying Archaeology and Geopgraphy at the University of the Witwatersrand, he earned his Ph.D from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom with a thesis entitled Comparative analysis of rock art in southern Africa: animals and cosmological models.

His research interest include Southern African rock art and the management of the African cultural heritage, a field he extensively practiced while working for both national and provincial heritage authorities. Before becoming a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria, he was the Manager of Archaeological Collections at Wits University.

In addition, Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu is the co-editor of the South African Archaeological Buelletin, as well as a Council Member for Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).



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