Southern African Humanities 2020-01-06T09:06:52+02:00 Ghilraen Laue Open Journal Systems <p>A journal for archaeological, anthropological and historical research, especially that which concerns material culture</p> Mapungubwe’s hinterland: excavations, ceramics and other material culture from Mutamba in the Soutpansberg 2020-01-06T09:06:00+02:00 Alexander Antonites <p>Mutamba is a 13th-century Iron Age settlement located in the Soutpansberg of South Africa and is contemporary with Mapungubwe, southern Africa’s earliest socially complex polity. This article presents information on excavations conducted in 2010 and 2011. The ceramic assemblage is considered in detail since it has implications for understanding the regional ceramic sequence and interactions at the site. The ceramic assemblage is dominated by vessels typologically attributable to the Mapungubwe facies, but also contains several vessels from the Eiland and Mutamba facies. This material is discussed in the context of the social and political backdrop of 13th-century South Africa, which shows that Mutamba formed part of the Mapungubwe polity’s dynamic hinterland.</p> <p>KEY WORDS: Mapungubwe, Mutamba, ceramics, Middle Iron Age, hinterland, interaction, Soutpansberg.</p> 2019-05-10T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Four Iron Age women from KwaZulu-Natal: biological anthropology, genetics and archaeological context 2020-01-06T09:06:03+02:00 Maryna Steyn Gavin Whitelaw Deona Botha Mario Vicente Carina Schlebusch Marlize Lombard <p>We report further details on four partial human skeletons from KwaZulu-Natal previously selected for genetic analysis. Dating and genetic results indicate that they derived from agriculturist communities of the mid-second millennium AD. Morphological and genetic analysis shows that three individuals were female; identification of the fourth as female comes from genetic analysis only. All four were adults at death, three older adults and one younger. Genetically, all four individuals cluster strongly with Bantu-speaking populations with West African roots, a result supported by craniometric data for the one individual with a complete and well-preserved cranium. All nevertheless display some admixture with Khoe-San populations. We show that three of the women, and probably the fourth, carried genetic resistance to the Plasmodium vivax malaria parasite, while two had some protection against Trypanosoma brucei gambiense-induced sleeping sickness. The unusual rock-shelter burial locations of three of the women suggest that their deaths required ritual ‘cooling’. Lightning and violence are possible causes. We argue that this multipronged approach is necessary for the development of detailed and nuanced understandings of the past and of the individuals who lived in the region centuries ago.</p> <p>KEY WORDS: Physical anthropology, ancient DNA, palaeopathology, Bantu-speaker expansion, Iron Age.</p> 2019-05-10T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Last Hurrah: Thomas Baines and the expedition to the coronation of Cetshwayo kaMpande, Zululand, 1873 2020-01-06T09:06:12+02:00 Lindy Stiebel Jane Carruthers <p>In 1873, John Thomas Baines joined the retinue of Theophilus Shepstone, then Secretary for Native Affairs in the colony of Natal, travelling into Zululand to ‘crown’ Cetshwayo as Zulu king. We argue that this was Baines’s ‘Last Hurrah’: it was his last adventure and he died two years later. The life and work of Baines—artist, explorer, and diarist—have been well recorded by scholars, but here we highlight two aspects of his final expedition that have not previously been given detailed attention. As assigned Special Correspondent to the Natal Mercury, Baines wrote comprehensive descriptions of the events in which he took part, and here we subject these to close literary critique and scrutiny. Moreover, Baines’s participation in the ‘coronation’ encouraged him to produce a detailed map of Zululand, now housed in the Royal Geographical Society in London. This too has not been published or closely examined, and our analysis sheds light on the geopolitical state of the subcontinent, as well as on the biography of Baines.<br>KEY WORDS: John Thomas Baines, history of Natal, KwaZulu-Natal, Zulu history, history of cartography, Natal Mercury.</p> 2019-05-16T16:34:59+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Late Holocene fauna from Moshebi’s Shelter, a Later Stone Age site in Lesotho 2020-01-06T09:06:16+02:00 Shaw Badenhorst Peter Mitchell Charles Arthur Cristian Capelli <p>This paper reports the analysis of the faunal remains recovered from re-excavation of Holocene Later Stone Age deposits at Moshebi’s Shelter, Lesotho. The assemblage includes a range of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and molluscs, but no domestic livestock. Some of the most common taxa, notably mole rats and vlei rats, are likely to be natural intrusions, but most of the others were probably hunted by the site’s hunter-gatherer occupants, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized antelope and rock hyrax. Overall, the animals present reflect an open grassland environment with wooded microhabitats available in nearby valleys. Of the species identified, zebra was not observed in highland Lesotho in the nineteenth century, but is known there earlier in the Holocene. Bushpig, on the other hand, either suggests an enhanced presence of woodland or thicket vegetation relative to today, or contacts with communities living downslope of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Escarpment in KwaZulu-Natal. KEY WORDS: hunter-gatherer, Later Stone Age, zooarchaeology, Lesotho.</p> 2019-05-22T08:57:44+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Tswana’s antiquarian: the life and work of state ethnologist Paul-Lenert Breutz (1912–1999) 2020-01-06T09:06:22+02:00 Jan Boeyens Fred Morton <p>ABSTRACT <br>Ethnologist Dr Paul-Lenert Breutz (Department of Native Affairs, later Bantu Administration and Development, between 1948 and 1977) authored eight volumes on South Africa’s Tswana-speaking communities and many other, less well-known, publications. The oral traditions and histories imbedded in Breutz’s ‘tribes’ series’, as well as in his self-published compendium (1989), have provided a major source for scholars of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Tswana. His methods in compiling this ethnohistorical record have not been understood, and his background, thinking, and professional training have gone unexamined. This study explores Breutz’s views of the world, and of Africans in particular, that were shaped and influenced by a set of racial theories, including anti-Semitism. It also closely examines Breutz’s oral historical accounts, which stand up to close scrutiny and remain essential to the exploration of the early Tswana past. Though Breutz’s mind was skewed by racism, his craft of recording the past was systematic, based on knowledgeable informants he interviewed and guided by the ethnological and language tradition of his doctoral studies at the Hamburg School. Foremost, Breutz was an antiquarian collector of information. Scholars will find wanting some of his interpretations, but they can place confidence in the historical record he carefully recorded. <br>KEY WORDS: Carl Meinhof, Department of Native Affairs, Ethnologist, Hamitic hypothesis, Hurutshe, Fokeng, Iron Age stonewalling, Oral traditions and histories, N.J. van Warmelo, Paul-Lenert Breutz, Tswana</p> 2019-08-21T14:21:28+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## What is a ‘Wilton scraper’? Perspectives from the Late Holocene assemblage of Balerno Main Shelter, Limpopo Province, South Africa. 2020-01-06T09:06:29+02:00 Iris Guillemard Guillaume Porraz <p>Wilton microlithic scrapers are widespread stone tools of the southern African Holocene Later Stone Age. Studied and classified in various ways, there are still many questions regarding their fabrication, function and hafting. Ultimately, it comes down to one question: are all these scrapers the same tool? By focusing on the late Holocene (end-)scraper assemblage from Balerno Main Shelter in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, the scraper variability in one site is investigated through a morpho-functional analysis. The results of our analysis led us to individualise three types of tools that vary primarily with regard to the characteristics of their passive units (the assumed prehensile part). This classification is accompanied by hypotheses about the hafting and functioning of these scrapers and carries implications for the categorisation of Wilton scrapers throughout southern Africa.</p> 2019-12-30T19:45:49+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Exhibiting apartheid: whites, Malays, and absent slaves in the displays of the South African Cultural History Museum 2020-01-06T09:06:33+02:00 Aron Mazel <p>On 6 April 1966, there was a whites-only display opening for the newly established South African Cultural History Museum in Cape Town. A week later, on 13 April, there was a separate opening for the Malay community. This paper chronicles the attitudes and circumstances leading to the creation of the displays and the ideological imperatives that informed them. It demonstrates that Malays and slaves were both included in the first display schedule, developed in 1959, although the emphasis was on European culture, white nation-building, and ‘ancient civilisations’. Yet when the museum opened in 1966, slavery was omitted, despite the fact that it was housed in the Slave Lodge, while the Malays were given an expanded format, without reference to slavery, even though many had been brought to the Cape as slaves. The reasons for this outcome are explored, proposing that apartheid ideologues were continuing a trend in their understanding of Cape history that denied slave history for decades in order to avoid uncomfortable questions being asked about the labour that had been used to build the Cape colony. In contrast, the Malays were included to emphasise their perceived link to the Afrikaners, such as their role in the development of Afrikaans. KEY WORDS: Apartheid, ‘civilisation’, displays, ideology, slavery, Malays, South African Cultural History Museum.</p> 2019-12-30T19:56:19+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Lions in the night: dual unity of the pantherine image in San beliefs and its possible origins 2020-01-06T09:06:40+02:00 Olga Rakitianskaia <p>In this article, I explore the social and sacral significance of the image of big African cats (lion, <em>Panthera leo</em>, and leopard, <em>Panthera pardus</em>) among Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherers of southern Africa since the beginning of the 19<sup>th</sup> century. The comparative study is based on ethnographical material from various groups, related to their daily life, beliefs, rituals, and folklore. I argue that the patherine image in all these contexts and among all the studied groups is essentially dualistic or rather represents a dual unity of seemingly opposed concepts. The big cat is equally associated with life and death, malevolence and benevolence, sickness and healing, killing and protecting, provision and deprivation, friendly insiders and dangerous outsiders. I propose that the origins of this symbolism may be found in the daily life relationship between the hunter-gatherers and real lions, which were included by humans in the important social processes of food sharing.</p> 2019-12-30T20:00:08+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Ethnoarchaeological fieldwork in Zimbabwe: people, pots, structures and scientific mementoes 2020-01-06T09:06:44+02:00 Thomas Huffman <p>In the 1970s, I began an ethnoarchaeological study into types of structures, pottery and population numbers in rural areas of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). This study extended to every major linguistic cluster in Zimbabwe, including Kalanga and Matabele, and provided a background to different macro-identities in the material-culture record. In the process, I acquired various ‘scientific mementoes’ for my personal use. These mementoes ranged from axes, beadwork and pottery to doors, drums, thumb pianos and ritual objects. Here I provide some background to Tonga and Korekore items collected from the Zambezi Valley, as well as from Central Shona in the Runde and Buhera areas and Ndau villages near Chikore Mission. The larger project encompassing these diverse areas had three goals: to clarify excavated features uncovered at Great Zimbabwe and Leopard’s Kopje Main Kraal; to estimate prehistoric populations based on the ratio of structures to people; and to record different ceramic traditions. At the time, the minimum household throughout the country comprised a kitchen, sleeping room and granary. Although low, a ratio of four people per household provides an average for estimating prehistoric populations. For ceramics, collections were sufficient for stylistic analyses but because of modern market forces, frequencies of functional types are not relevant to archaeological assemblages. Even so, these field data help to elucidate the human context for the kind of pottery fragments archaeologists often study. Conclusions such as these informed later research but original field data appear here for the first time.<br>KEY WORDS: Ethnoarchaeology, Ndebele, Shona, Tonga, traditional material culture.</p> 2020-01-06T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Erratum 2020-01-06T09:06:51+02:00 Editorial Team <p>Erratum for Vol.29 (2016) for article:&nbsp;</p> <p>Porraz, G., Igreja, M., Schmidt, P. &amp; Parkington, J.E. A shape to the microlithic Robberg from Elands Bay Cave (South Africa): 203–47.</p> 2020-01-06T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##