Kondoa Rock Art Sites World Heritage Site

Cave in Tanzania

Kondoa Rock-Art Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Kondoa mchoro mwambani 2012 Tamino.jpg
Close-up view
LocationKondoa District, Tanzania
CriteriaCultural: (iii), (vi)
Inscription2006 (30th session)
Area233,600 ha (577,000 acres)
Coordinates4°43′28″S 35°50′02″E / 4.72444°S 35.83389°E / -4.72444; 35.83389Coordinates: 4°43′28″S 35°50′02″E / 4.72444°S 35.83389°E / -4.72444; 35.83389
Kondoa Rock-Art Sites is located in Tanzania
Kondoa Rock-Art Sites
Location of Kondoa Rock-Art Sites in Tanzania

The Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings are a series of ancient paintings on rockshelter walls in central Tanzania. The Kondoa region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006 because of its impressive collection of rock art.[1] These sites were named national monuments in 1937 by the Tanzania Antiquities Department.[2] Some of the paintings are believed by the Tanzania Antiquities Department to date back more than 50,000 years, though the paintings are generally dated at 2,000 years old.[1] The paintings depict elongated people, animals, and hunting scenes. Older paintings are generally red and associated with hunter-gatherers, but they are often superimposed by the more recent 'late white' paintings of agro-pastoralists.[2] These paintings span the Middle Stone Age (MSA) to the beginning of the Later Stone Age (LSA), making it a good collection for the purpose of studying culture changes during this transition.[3]

The landscape of this area is characterized by large piled granite boulders that make up the western rim of the Maasai steppe and form rockshelters facing away from prevailing winds.[4] These rock shelters are where the paintings are found, relatively protected from weathering. Today the decorated rockshelters are used by the local Irangi people for spiritual purposes, including the regular sacrificing of animals during healing ceremonies.[2] The persisting significance and use of the rockshelters suggests that there has been a cultural continuum among the people who have resided in the area over time.[3]

The paintings are located approximately nine kilometres east of the main highway (T5) from Dodoma to Babati, about 20 km north of Kondoa town, in Kondoa District of Dodoma Region, Tanzania. The boundaries of the site are marked by concrete posts.[3]

“Africa’s rock art is the common heritage of all Africans, but it is more than that. It is the common heritage of humanity." -President Nelson Mandela[1]

  1. ^ a b c Coulson, David; Borona, Gloria K. (2013). Rock Art of Konda Irangi and Other Attractions. TARA (Trust for African Rock Art). ISBN 978-9966-7453-4-7.
  2. ^ a b c Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO (2004). World Heritage Papers 13. Paris, France: UNESCO World Heritage Centre. pp. 82–83.
  3. ^ a b c UNESCO.org
  4. ^ Nash, T. A. M. (1929). "Note on the Discovery of Some Rock-Paintings Near Kondoa Irangi in Tanganyika Territory". The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 59: 199–206. doi:10.2307/2843565. ISSN 0307-3114. JSTOR 2843565.

Nearby Places

  • Kondoa Rock-Art Sites
  • Pahi (Tanzanian ward)
  • Kolo (Tanzanian ward)

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