Africa: Petroglyphs, Frescos / The White Lady

PHOTO: ziafedora (Eva) 21 7'48.53" 1439'29.28"

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The legendary "The White Lady of the Brandberg", one of some 45 000 figures painted in prehistoric times at a thousand sites in the mountain massif, is part of a frieze in a rock overhang in the Tsisab Ravine. The central figures in the frieze were once thought to represent people from Ancient Egypt or Minoan Crete, but it is now generally accepted that indigenous people, in all probability San hunter-gatherers, were both the authors and subjects of the paintings. The exact age of the paintings is unknown as they do not lend themselves to either carbon or archaeological dating. A method of dating known as chromatographic analysis, which measures the protein left in paint from egg white or other organic matter used to bind the pigments, determined only that the "White Lady" figure is at least 1 800 years old. After that length of time no proteins remain.