Painted panel, Mashonaland, Zimbabwe

3D Image

by The British Museum
published on 27 February 2017

This 80 foot long panel is from Zombapata Cave, atop a large granite hill in Mashonaland, Zimbabwe. It includes paintings of elephants, zebra, sheep, sable antelope, kudu, lions, a large troupe of baboons and animal footprints.

Zimbabwe is home to many important rock art sites; paintings made by the San people have been dated from 8,500 years ago to just after the arrival of Bantu-speaking farmers from around 500 AD.

Zimbabwean rock art is distinctive in that there is greater complexity of imagery than elsewhere in Southern Africa, including more plants, with oval shapes and large female antelope common. The unique nature of rock art in Zimbabwe is thought to be the product of a shared belief system where both flora and fauna are sources of natural power and potency.

This model was created using original photographs from the African rock art image project, supported by the Arcadia Fund. For more information visit

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