, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 473-475
Date: 13 Nov 2012

J.-L. Le Quellec, F.-X. Fauvelle-Aymar, and F. Bon, Vols de Vaches à Christol Cave: Histoire Critique d’une Image Rupestre d’Afrique du Sud

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This is a very stimulating and thought-provoking book that touches on many current issues in rock art research. Before listing and discussing these, I want to reflect on a personal involvement with the site and the painting that forms the focal point of the discussion. Some years ago, when regularly teaching rock art to University of Cape Town undergraduates, I was given a slide of the so-called cattle theft painting from Ventershoek. The holes gouged into the rock, from which images had obviously been removed, were glaringly and painfully clear. I used the slide frequently but knew relatively little about the history of the site, its recording and the circumstances of the removal of some of the images. Four years ago I attended a conference organized by Denis Vialou at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, when Jean-Loïc Le Quellec gave a quite extraordinary presentation on the scandalous removal of images from the site by professional archaeologists. He finished by mentioning that some of t ...