Driekopseiland Rock Engraving Site

Towards a new interpretation

Dating engravings and archaeological context

Driekopseiland a powerful place

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and "the rain's magic power"


by David Morris

McGregor Museum, Kimberley


These web pages touch on various aspects of the extraordinary rock engraving site of Driekopseiland (or Driekops Eiland, also known as Biesjebult West, Blaauw Bank or Bloem's Homestead), which is in the bed of the Riet River south west of Kimberley in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The material is mostly drawn from a thesis,
Morris, D. 2002. Driekopseiland and "the rain's magic power": history and landscape in a new interpretation of a Northern Cape rock engraving site.
Submitted to the University of the Western Cape for a Masters Degree (Anthropology) awarded Cum Laude in March 2003.

Some of the ideas are elaborated further in Morris 2012 Rock art in the Northern Cape: the implications of variability in engravings and paintings relative to issues of social context and change in the precolonial past. PhD dissertation, University of the Western Cape.

I acknowledge the University and particularly my supervisor, Prof A.J.B. Humphreys. The McGregor Museum has had an association with the site for more than a century.

The texts provided are my own but insofar as they also reflect the work of other researchers this is fully acknowledged.

Published versions of this information are:

Morris, D. 2010 [but a paper written in 2001 prior to the writing of the above thesis] Snake and veil: the rock engravings of Driekopseiland, Northern Cape, South Africa. In Blundell, G., Chippindale, C. & Smith, B. (eds) 2010. Seeing and knowing: understanding rock art with and without ethnography. Johannesburg: Wits University Press. 

Parkington, J., Morris, D. & Rusch, N. 2008. Karoo rock engravings: marking places in the landscape. Cape Town: Krakadouw Trust.

Morris, D. 2008. Driekopseiland rock engraving site, South Africa: a precolonial landscape lost and re-membered. In Smith, A. & Gazin-Schwartz, A. (eds) Landscapes of clearance: archaeological and anthropological perspectives. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press. 

Morris, D. & Venter, A. 2010. Driekops Eiland: an interpretive quest. Bloemfontein: McGregor Museum & School of Design Technology and Visual Arts, Central University of Technology. 

These pages are copyright.

It is understood that in any fair use of the information from this website, the author and source (website) would be acknowledged. For futher information please consult the author.  

Dr David Morris
Kimberley 2003 & 2014

Do check related websites indicated on the links page - particularly the Wildebeest Kuil and Northern Cape Rock Art Trust websites.

Please contact me (see Contact Page) for any further information on:

* How to visit the site

* Copies of papers/articles/books, or my dissertations, including "Driekopseiland and 'the rain's magic power'" 

* Bibliography

* Any other query you might have, or information you would like to share, regarding Driekopseiland


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