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Cultural importance

The traditional lifestyle of the Nama people is based on nomadic pastoralism, the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld being one of the last regions where this way of life has been preserved. A number of significant archaeological sites are situated in the area. The earliest evidence of human habitation within the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld National Park was discovered in a shelter at Die Toon near Tatasberg. This site has been dated back to 2200 BC. Bones uncovered at Kokerboomkloof reveal that at least some of the animal species currently present in the region, such as springbok, zebra and klipspringer, were also present over 4 000 years ago. The presence of fish bones indicates that the Orange River was an important source of food for the hunter-gatherers.