Report on the finding of Bushman Paintings : Matopos
Date: Sunday, 13 September, 1959
SITUATION: Latitude Approx 20' 30'S. Longitude 28'34' E.
Overlooking the Mtshelele Valley approximately seven miles from the source of the Mtshelele river in the Matopos hills, Bulawayo. SUBJECT: Several upright figures, all grasping arrows and painted in a dull, dark red colour. The shapes of the figures resemble those painted on the wall of Silozwane Cave. Above the figures is an indistinguishable solid shaped object. The foremost figureis approximately eight to twelve inches high, the remainder smaller. No other objects were observed.
SETTING: The paintings are on a concave granite surface. Despite the fact that the rock surface is marked in several places by the passage of water the figures are quite clear.
SIGNS OF LATER OCCUPATION: Close to the paintings are several signs of a more recent occupation. These include grain bins, grinding stones and remnants of pottery. Neither the grain bins nor the pottery are decorated in any way. There are two bins, one a cylindrical structure open at the top, the other built between two rocks (the rocks forming the floor and the roof) and having four circular openings into four seperate components.
VICINITY: The particular cave in which the bins and paintings are situated is one of several in the vicinity. This fact, coupled with the proximity of a good water supply gives the impression that a fair number of persons may have inhabited the vicinity at the time of the bushmen paintings and at the time of the grain bins.
George Gibson
Witness to the finding: N.Higginbottom and N.Gillman
Bushmen paintings certificate.
2008 With thanks to the Gibson family for donating the photos