Patricia Joan Vinnicombe was born in 1932 in Mount Currie District, East Griqualand. She grew up in the neighbouring Underberg District at the foothills of the Drakensberg on the farm West Ilsley, Kwazulu Natal Province where numerous Bushman rock art paintings in the area became part of a world that she came to love from a very tender age.
In 1958 with a grant from the Human Sciences Research Council and under the supervision of Mr Berry D. Malan, Secretary of the Historical Monuments Commission, Pat undertook a thorough survey of the Darkensberg to record all the rock paintings within it. Mr Malan suggested that Pat embarked on a programme of numerical analysis, and Dr CA Schoute-Vanneck of the University of Natal guided her in working out a recording programme amenable to punch card analysis. This approach provided a foundation for analyzing the images in all their complexity (Deacon 2003; Lewis-Williams 2003).
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