Kpatiritinga Rock Art & Granaries

One of the most recent and impressive discoveries of rock art and centuries-old adobe structures along the Gambaga Escarpment.

This site is on the Gambaga Escarpment about 3km north of the village of Kpatiritinga near the town of Sakogu. It was first documented in 2017 by photographer William Haun. It features a collection of eleven adobe structures in a ravine and two separate rock locations with ochre art.

View west along the Gambaga Escarpment from the Kpatiritinga Rock Art site

The Adobe Granaries at Kpatiritinga

After this site was reported to the GMMB, a research team was sent in 2018 to assess the site. They are currently working on dating estimates for the structures. Currently, information about them is only speculative.

That said, it appears that these were some sort of small granaries built centuries ago. Locals in the nearby village of Kpatiritinga say their forefathers found them when they settled the area.

The fact that they are built in such a concealed and inconvenient place may be a clue to their purpose. They may have been used to hide food stores during the time of slave raiders (1600s-1800s) or during the Mamprusi wars (1500s-1700s). If a village was attacked, burned, and looted it would make sense to have reserves hidden away in the bush.

The fact that they are tucked away under a northwest facing rock shelter has completely protected them from wind and rain. They are in an impeccable condition for being apparently very old.

The Rock Paintings of Kpatiritinga

The rock paintings are only 1/2 km from the granaries. The first of the two sites is a large boulder precariously balanced on three stones. On the northwest face are some simple lines and shapes that resemble arrows and crosses.

The second site is probably the most impressive of all five (known) rock art sites in Ghana. Under a large rock shelter (still used by farmers today) there are two tableaus covered with drawings featuring animals and men on horseback.

Using special imaging software you can clearly see the rock art on the boulders despite the layer of soot from smoke.

Location


Fun fact: Kpatiritinga means “Baboon Land” in Mampruli.

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