Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Celebrated Rock Art Volume 54 Number 2, March/April 2001
by Angela M.H. Schuster

[image] Ancient human figures painted in the Linton rock-shelter in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province by ancestors of the San people have been incorporated in the country's new coat of arms. Beneath the figures, the motto "Unity in Diversity" is given in /Xam, one of several known but extinct San languages. "It is a major step forward for South Africa's indigenous peoples in the wake of apartheid," says anthropologist J.D. Lewis-Williams of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, who was involved in the coat of arms redesign and translated the motto. "Their rock art," he adds, "is remarkable for its fine detail, animated variety, and religious content." Descendants of the San today constitute one of South Africa's many minority cultures.

© 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of America