Botswana in southern Africa is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Botswana’s World Heritage Sites: the Rock Art of the Tsodilo Hills.
The collection of animal art painted by the early inhabitants of the Tsodilo Hills is one of the largest assemblages of rock art in Africa:
Located in north-west Botswana near the Namibian Border in Okavango Sub-District, the Tsodilo Hills are a small area of massive quartzite rock formations that rise from ancient sand dunes to the east and a dry fossil lake bed to the west in the Kalahari Desert. The Hills have provided shelter and other resources to people for over 100,000 years. It now retains a remarkable record, in its archaeology, its rock art, and its continuing traditions, not only of this use but also of the development of human culture and of a symbiotic nature/human relationship over many thousands of years.
The archaeological record of the site gives a chronological account of human activities and environmental changes over at least 100,000 years, although not continuously.
Often large and imposing rock paintings exist in the shelters and caves, and although not accurately dated appear to span from the Stone Age right through to the 19th century. In addition, within the site sediments, there is considerable information pertaining to the paleo-environment. This combination provides an insight into early ways of human life, and how people interacted with their environment both through time and space.
The local communities revere Tsodilo as a place of worship and as a home for ancestral spirits. Its water holes and hills are revered as a sacred cultural landscape by the Hambukushu and San communities. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #1021)
You can find a gallery of additional photos of the Rock Art of Tsodilo on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures are you exploring in your homeschool this Cygnus Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇧🇼
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍