The late Alexander Robert Willcox contributed substantially to San Rock Art documentation in the Central Drakensberg, the rest of this region, and South Africa. He was a Quantity Surveyor by profession, but spent as much of his spare time as possible hiking to and reporting on San and other forms of rock art. He was the first researcher to record rock art in South Africa through colour photography. His love for rock art began when he joined the mountain club of South Africa and whilst he plied his profession in Johannesburg. He was one of the founding members of the South African Rock Art Research Association. His view regarding the literal interpretation of San Rock Art is valued.
He retired to the Central Drakensberg and ‘Round The Bend’, now the ‘Dingaan’s Retreat’ complex, at the early age of sixty to pursue his passion of recording rock art. He passed under tragic circumstances in 1993.
His son, Dave and daughter, Sandy, fondly remember taking part in these excursions and meeting with other renowned individuals such as the Pagers. This couple is famous for their recordings of the rock art of the Didima Gorge or Ndedema, the title of their much sort after publication of their paintings of these frescos.
A.R Willcox’s books are now collector’s items:
– The Drakensberg Bushmen and Their Art, 1990;
– Footprints on a Southern Land, 1988;
– Building of the Berg, 1987;
– Great River: the story of the Orange River. Winterton: Drakensberg, 1986;
– Shipwreck and Survival on the South East Coast of Africa, 1984;
– The Rock Art of Africa, 1984;
– Southern Land: The Prehistory And History Of Southern Africa, 1976;
– The Archaeology of the Drakensberg Region of Natal, 1975;
– Rock paintings of the Drakensberg, Natal and Griqualand East, 1973;
– The Rock Art of South Africa, 1963; and
– Rock Paintings of the Drakensberg, 1956.
Additionally, he published a wide range of scientific papers a list of these is available at https://dokumen.tips/documents/obituary-alexander-robert-willcox-1911-1993.html.