Archaeology: ETCHED IN STONE

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR AFRICA'S ANCIENT ROCK-ART MASTERPIECES, THREATENED BY NATURE AND MAN

The images are as stunning as they are ancient. Painted or engraved on rock surfaces hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of years ago, they portray hunters armed with bows and arrows in hot pursuit of antelopes, lanky men straddling galloping horses, and exquisitely drawn charioteers urging their steeds on. They depict herds of elephants, loping giraffes, elegantly antlered impala and mythical creatures drawn from the imagination of artists long since in their grave.

For most people, any mention of rock paintings immediately brings to mind the fabulous Paleolithic cave art at Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain. But...

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