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The early San inhabitants

Early archaeological evidence tells us that the San inhabited the Richtersveld area thousands of years ago. They hunted game (mountain zebra and klipspringer) and gathered berries and herbs. Arrowheads made of stone and plant resin have been found around Eksteenfontein. Then the first Khoekhoen or pastoral people moved to these regions from Botswana some 2 000 years ago. Like the San, they were hunter-gatherers, and only slaughtered animals on rare ceremonial occasions. The Nama speaking herders in the Richtersveld, therefore, are said to be descendents from these first pastoralists and the San.

Large scatterings of tools, pottery and ostrich eggshells with ornate designs and shell beads have been found in the area. Recently pots with ears and pointy bottoms have been unearthed here in Eksteenfontein, some in excellent condition. We are told that they are 1 000 years old and it is thought that the inhabitants brewed herb beer and kept milk in these vessels, propping them up in the rich red desert sands.