Legacy on the Rocks

The Prehistoric Hunter-gatherers of the Matopo Hills, Zimbabwe

Elspeth Parry



The Matopo Hills, an area of rugged and majestic hills in Zimbabwe, contain a staggering number of prehistoric rock paintings. Eighteen years of fieldwork in this area has produced a stunning collection of rock art images, many previously unpublished and probably unique to the Matopo region. These rock paintings are a unique record of hunter-gatherer society and provide insights into the relationship between hunter-gatherers and immigrant pastoralists, evidence that is generally lacking in the archaeology of the area. Well over one thousand painted panels have been closely observed and the illustrations presented here have been drawn from 124 separate sites.


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Elspeth Parry has been actively involved in locating and recording rock art sites in the Matopo hills for 20 years.