San rock paintings, scattered over the range of southern Africa, are considered by many to be the very earliest examples of representational art. There are as many as 15,000 known rock art sites, created over the course of thousands of years up until the nineteenth century. There are possibly just as many still awaiting discovery.
Taking as his starting point the magnificent Linton panel in the Iziko-South African Museum in Cape Town, J. D. Lewis-Williams examines the artistic and cultural significance of rock art and how this art sheds light on how San image-makers conceived their world. It also details the European encounter with rock art as well as the contentious European interaction with the artists' descendants, the contemporary San people.
J. D. Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has written more than 135 articles in a wide variety of academic journals as well as authored or coauthored more than sixteen books. His recent books include the award-winning The Mind in the Cave; Inside the Neolithic Mind, co-authored with David Pearce; and Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion.