Social Science


In South Africa, the surge of Rock art is in the limelight. This is necessary to navigate the Rock art, conducted by ancient people to express their behaviors, feelings and intentions towards different things. This is a fact that there are many problems regarding the understanding and description of meanings from these rock art painting and characters. However, this is related to the society, which makes the South Africa Society difference from other societies in the world. The integration of culture and society of South Africa through these rock engravings is necessary to derive the insights from the history and wildlife is well. This is all about to navigate the human behaviors and intentions in the society of the South Africa. However, the perception of different people regarding this art cannot be ignored.

Social Science

Rock Art: South African
South Africa

            The social science relates with the society and relationship among different individuals. This is necessary to examine the social science along with its different branches. The different branches of social science are political science, demography, economics, human geography, sociology, and psychology. This is a fact that people around us behavior or react differently. In a society, this has been seen that every individual have a different perception, preferences, and mentality to deal different things. The study of this behavior is called the social science. In this study, we will discuss the social science along with all its branches to identify the problems, causes, and solutions.

“Every individual in a society contains different perception and behaviors towards different aspects of the society. These behaviors and perceptions can be depicted through paintings, as this is an expressive way to communicate regarding the society needs and trends. In South Africa, It seems pertinent, as immense rock paintings mean to the society.”

 The behavior of humans with animals in South Africa contains the ancient history, which can also be seen on different rocks. This is a fact that people used to hunt and eat animals to satisfy their hunger. Thus, we can say that humans contained brutal behaviors for animals in South Africa. Interestingly, the different paint at different rocks also shows the hunting equipment and blood of animal along with the hunter. This intention depicts the aggression of humans at that time to eat. Also, it also demonstrates the other aspects of society. For Instance, humans use to express their feeling in different walls and rocks. In a society, humans face immense hurdles to express the feelings and behaviors towards any aspects. Thus, the paintings of rock are a symbol of expression (, 2014).

Figure 1: Animal Rock Art


 This has been observed that the rock art painting is the oldest practice in the South Africa. People in South Africa pretended, and the animal is well. The psyche behind this behavior is to pretend the wildness and features to animals for the depiction of braveness. These art paintings also depict the behavior of the whole continent. Through the navigation of this art painting at different rocks, we can categorize as northern, southern and central.  Furthermore, there is a perception that there are some paintings on rocks, which are prehistoric. However, most of the pictures are not prehistoric, as we can derive the human behavior, society and animal integration from them.  Also, people have depicted the behaviors towards the society in different war conditions. We can see mounted horses and rifles in the hand of humans in the different art paintings. It depicts the aggression and use of weapons to have the right or restrain other from getting the rights (Wessels, 2015).

Figure 2: Trance Dance Hunting

Source:  Tekemberet%20Immidir%20Algeria%20Sahara%20North-Africa.html

            Now, this is a big problem for humans to learn from symbols and metaphors. The Art gives us the insights and history regarding the human behaviors, which are depicted through bulls, marriages, trance dance and curing. Interestingly, people have expressed the things that happened to their lives at that time. However, this is tough to derive the traits regarding the behaviors and traits in the society. Another aspect, which can be derived from the art paintings at the rock, is that they believed in supernatural things (Henry, 2007). For Instance, this has been expressed in the art that people used to contain the rain dance to do the trance to capture the different animals. Now, the problem is that why people use to contain the rain dance despite having the ability to capture the animals through weapons and sharpness. 

            Regarding the pre-colonial San Life in the Southern Africa, the government is looking to take different initiatives for the preservation of these rock art painting, the purpose is to let people aware regarding the ancient culture, behavior and different aspects of society, which are ultimately seen in the current society (Franklin & Strecker, 2008). The use of animals in the painting tells us that the human depended on these animals at that time to live for a long run. They used it for travels, meal, and assistant. Thus, the engravings depict the representational form of animals and relation with the humans, which formed a diverse society in the southern Africa (Jopela, 2010). This is a fact that these engravings are to be conceptualized to integrate with the current society, as the society has been changed on mountains with the passage of time in the South Africa. This is a good solution to this problem that must contain awareness through these rock arts. This can help them to derive the meaning from the symbols and relations of animals with humans in society (Brown & Page, 2016).

Figure 3: Hunting on Animals


 Also, the South African Rock is not limited as compared to the other regions. This is a fact immense ranges of engravings are removed from the rocks by humans with the passage of time. However, there are still large numbers of rocks, containing this art to depict the society and the relation or integration with the animals (Deacon, 2006). For Instance, there is a perception that these art paintings on different rocks are not from the Southern African society, as people used to travel at that time and expressed their feeling and society behaviors on the rock. However, another perception is that people used to stay in this area and expressed what they did at that time. Thus, they formed the society during the stay (Langley & Taçon, 2010). Maybe, they did not find any rock or did not integrate with animals in other regions. Thus, the availability of rocks and animals are the real assets of the South African society (Torres, 2016).

            Another problem is regarding the enhancements of tourism. It seems interesting that people from different countries are coming in this region and see the rock art, made by ancient people of the South Africa (O’Sullivan & Downey, 2011). This is good to generate the revenues and eliminate the vicious circle of poverty from the country. However, the main problem is how to encourage this art and depict the meanings of these engravings to those people. This is all about the society and culture integration, being depicted on the rocks (Clottes, 2008). The most important thing is to not to watch the art but also understand the society behavior and integration with other living, nonliving and supernatural things. The solution to this problem is to enhance the study of wildlife in the region and express its impact on society (Bednarik, 2008). Obviously, Africa has more rock art paintings as compared to others. Thus, the more material can be found on the rock for better understanding and depiction.

            Another problem regarding the rock at in South Africa is the unclear characters drawn. This is a fact that people perceive different meaning according to their mentality and current society trends, which contain immense contradictions or confusions. Therefore, the rock art paintings and its worth is in danger, as the clear message has to be directed around the globe. The archeologists have to come forward and navigate different characters with the use of different ancient concepts, theory, and modern equipment. The role of technology underhand these characters of the ancient society cannot be ignored (Pinkowski, 2015).

Figure 4: Characters as Rock Art


            In the end, this is to conclude that Africa Society should be understood through perfect navigation. The ancient history depicts the different behaviors of humans, elaborated on different rocks in the region. The perception may be different, but there is a need to consider this art to integrate the culture, human behavior and society as whole to come up with the effective outcomes.


Bednarik, R. G. (2008). More on Rock Art Removal. The South African Archaeological Bulletin , 63 (187), 82-84.

Brown, V., & Page, T. (2016, July 19). Rock art across Africa is dying, say experts. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from CNN:

Clottes, J. (2008). Rock Art: An Endangered Heritage Worldwide. Journal of Anthropological Research , 64 (1), 1-18.

Deacon, J. (2006). Rock Art Conservation and Tourism. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory , 13 (4), 379-399.

Franklin, N. R., & Strecker, M. (2008). Rock Art Studies – News of the World (Vol. 3). Oxbow Books.

Henry, L. (2007). A History of Removing Rock Art in South Africa. The South African Archaeological Bulletin , 62 (185), 44-48.

Jopela, A. (2010). Towards a condiition monitoring of rock art sites: The case of BNE 1 in the Free State Province, South Africa. The South African Archaeological Bulletin , 65 (191), 58-66.

Langley, M. C., & Taçon, P. S. (2010). The Age of Australian Rock Art: A Review. Australian Archaeology (71), 70-73.

O’Sullivan, M., & Downey, L. (2011). Rock Art. Archaeology Ireland , 25 (4), 15-18.

Pinkowski, J. (2015, July 1). Explore 30,000 Years of African Rock Art. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from mental Floss: (2014, November 26). New evidence of ancient rock art across Southeast Asia. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from Science Daily:

Torres, o. d. (2016, Fenruary 16). Sharp of teeth: crocodiles in the ancient Sahara. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from British Museum:

Wessels, M. (2015). San Rock Art. Journal of Southern African Studies , 41 (4), 934.

(Bednarik, 2008) (Clottes, 2008) (Deacon, 2006) (Franklin & Strecker, 2008) (Henry, 2007) (Jopela, 2010) (Langley & Taçon, 2010) (O’Sullivan & Downey, 2011)

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