Thursday, August 27, 2015



ancientpages | August 26, 2015 | 

Previously unknown rock paintings, covering rock shelters in the Kondoa district in central Tanzania, have been discovered by Maciej Grzelczyck, archaeologist from A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland and winner of the Ministry of Science programme “Diamond Grant”.

Grzelczyck also started an intensive ethnological research project, through which he hopes to understand the importance of the discovered paintings.

Kondoa rock paintings, Tanzania

Depiction of a lion. Photo: M. Grzelczyck
Kondoa district is famous for its large number of rock paintings made over thousands of years. However, only a selected area is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Kondoa reserve area was established on the basis of Mary Leakey’s research, conducted in the 50s. Leakey and her family are known primarily for searching for the first hominids in the near Olduvai Gorge.
During last year’s expedition,  Grzelczyck made a nearly complete photographic catalog of these old paintings and began  exploration of the Kwa Mtoro area, about 80 km away from the area protected by UNESCO

Kondoa rock art site, Tanzania

Maciej Grzelczyck at work.

“I wanted to know the meaning of cave paintings for the local communities” – Grzelczyck said .

“In the case of the most famous Paleolithic rock art in France, for example in Lascaux, we do not have anyone to ask about their meaning. The culture, which created them, is long gone. Here it is different” – he explained.
The area of Kwa Mtoro is inhabited by several thousand Sandawe people, who believe that the paintings were left by their ancestors, and they are the “signs of ancestors”.

The most recent comprehensive ethnological and art rock study was performed by Australian scientist Ten Raa almost half a century ago and recently Grzelczyck discovered previously unknown rock paintings.
“The perception of paintings by Sandawe can be described as sacred ancient photographs- if a lion is depicted, they believe it means that lions once lived in this region. Others are interpreted as part of hunting magic and rituals associated with fertility and rain” , he explained.

Rock art site, Kondoa, Tanzania

Kondoa rock art site in Tanzania

The scientist noted that this is the last call for comprehensive study of the Sandawe. This community still lives the same way as before the millennia. They do not have access to electricity, running water.

They live in lightweight structures built from plants. “Inexorably, however, civilization enters and thus disappears the knowledge of the past, ancient rituals, traditions and the meaning of cave paintings” – said the researcher.
According to Grzelczyck, local shaman is responsible for each of the paintings. A visit to the rock shelter must always be with his presence – so it was during the scientist’s visits. At the hillock, the shaman every time celebrated rituals whose purpose was to make the paintings become visible. According to local beliefs, without rituals they would show on the rocks. After reaching the paintings, shaman watered them – explaining that this way he feeds the ancestors.

Kondoa rock paintings, Tanzania

Kondoa area is not yet known but it is estimated that there are between 150 and 450 decorated rock shelters, caves and overhanging cliff faces.

Another interesting part of Grzelczyck’s research confirms that some of the paintings depicted the Simbo ritual – those depicting a man wielding a horn. The ritual involves contancting the ancestors under the influence of psychoactive substances, introducing a trance.

However, none of the elements of ritual is performed near the paintings.

“I realized that focusing on rock art itself does not make sense. In contrast, multi-faceted research is crucial, especially ethnological studies finding numerous links between the still existing culture and the paintings. This way, the results are complete” – he added.

 Kondoa rock art, Tanzania

Kondoa rock art, Tanzania

Interestingly, the archaeologist discovered unknown paintings in places well-known to scientists. “In principle, it does not matter whether the site with rock art had already been known or not. Even those visited earlier by the researchers hid their secrets to this day. It turns out that thanks to digital processing technology, many of the paintings can be seen only on a computer screen – thanks to image processing I was able to verify the findings of other researchers” – added Grzelczyck.

The archaeologist’s findings are surprising. It turned out that many of the paintings are more complex than previously thought. They contain additional human and animal figures.
Among the most interesting is a large painting of a giraffe, within the silhouette of which a number of smaller animals had been painted. There are also animals that currently exist do not in this area – lions, rhinos; as well as numerous paintings of antelopes.

Unfortunately, modern graffiti increasingly appears on the ancient paintings, which this way are destroyed and forgotten. Archaeologist would like to carry out excavations around selected rock shelters. However, permission for research costs 40 thousand dollars, which exceeds his budget. This high rate is due to the proximity of the Great Rift Valley, where for years the Western archaeologists have been looking for ancestors of man.

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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