Phillipskop Rock Art & Heritage

Now, the Cape Whale Coast really has it all.  The addition of rock art at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve just outside Stanford in the Overberg adds further diversity to the tourism tableau of this area. Having achieved heritage status Stanford didn’t need further recognition but got it any way. Rock art images were discovered on Phillipskop Mountain Reserve on Easter Saturday 2016 by a visiting archeologist.  Although it took some time to verify the find this site has now been proclaimed as a Class 3 heritage area.  Admittedly these illustration won’t win any prizes for spectacularly (the words of Phillipskop owner Anna Whitehouse) but it does extend the known geographical range of the Khoisan.  It is also the only rock art to be found within the Overstrand Municipality’s boundaries.

The cave hosting the rock art is a 30 minute walk up the mountain from where Anna lives with husband Chris and their two sons.  The family home is not far from the spacious self-catering cottages that is the main business of Phillipskop.  The hike is rewarded with 2 styles of rock art.  Fine line drawings of antelope and human figures were done by the San long before the hand- and fingerprint paintings of the Khoe.  The illustrations are not enclosed as the recommendation came that anyone who is prepared to do the hike up to the cave will want to care for the art and not destroy it.  This is true.  Looking at the art feels as if you have found treasure and indeed this location has already been registered as a geocaching point for treasure seekers.  What a privilege to reflect on the symbolism of the lives of people who have lived here long before us.  All right here, not far from where I live.

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