Peter Breunig

Prof. Dr Peter Breunig (emeritus) was head of the Department of African Archaeology and Archaeobotany at the Goethe University’s Institute for Archaeological Sciences in Frankfurt/Main and is a renowned and highly regarded Africanist archaeologist whose interest in Namibian rock art began in the 1980s.


Painted Stories
A Guide to the Rock Art of AiAiba
von Peter Breunig

228 pages •  2023 • ISBN 978-99945-76-84-5 • 170 x 240 mm • Namibia Scientific Society/Kuiseb Publishers

People interested in rock art often ask the same three questions: How old is it? Who created it? What was its purpose? Archaeologist Peter Breunig investigated the rock art of AiAiba (Anibib farm) in the Erongo Mountains, one of the richest rock art areas of Namibia. In Painted Stories he closely examines those rock paintings, using them as an example of the prehistoric treasure trove which can tell us about the world view of Namibia’s ancient hunter-gatherers. While renowned archaeologist Henri Breuil counted 344 paintings in the mid-20th century, Breunig, using modern digital methods, makes the invisible visible and recorded 4,914 paintings in 208 sites, 14 times the number known in Breuil’s day. He addresses the above questions and gives valuable insight into the representational world of Namibia’s prehistoric peoples in a fascinating reader-friendly way. 
This book is extremely important and valuable because, as Breunig writes, “there is a simple reason for urgency in rock art research. Rock art is exposed to natural and human influences which are inexorably leading to its disappearance. In many cases on AiAiba, the paintings are already so faded that they can barely be perceived with the naked eye. For now, they can still be recovered using digital technology. But here, too, we will eventually reach a point beyond which they are lost forever.” The many photographs, digital drawings and descriptions in this book will preserve the rock paintings for generations to come.

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