Southern African Humanities https://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH <p>A journal for archaeological, anthropological and historical research, especially that which concerns material culture</p> KwaZulu-Natal Museum en-US Southern African Humanities 1681-5564 <div>&nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mapungubwe’s hinterland: excavations, ceramics and other material culture from Mutamba in the Soutpansberg https://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/469 <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> Alexander Antonites ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-10 2019-05-10 32 1 22 Four Iron Age women from KwaZulu-Natal: physical anthropology, genetics and archaeological context https://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/470 <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> Maryna Steyn Gavin Whitelaw Deona Botha Mario Vicente Carina Schlebusch Marlize Lombard ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-10 2019-05-10 32 23 56 The Last Hurrah: Thomas Baines and the expedition to the coronation of Cetshwayo kaMpande, Zululand, 1873 https://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/468 <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> Lindy Stiebel Jane Carruthers ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-16 2019-05-16 32 57 82 Late Holocene fauna from Moshebi’s Shelter, a Later Stone Age site in Lesotho https://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/495 <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> Shaw Badenhorst Peter Mitchell Charles Arthur Cristian Capelli ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-22 2019-05-22 32 83 107 The Tswana’s antiquarian: the life and work of state ethnologist Paul-Lenert Breutz (1912–1999) https://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/491 <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> Jan Boeyens Fred Morton ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-08-21 2019-08-21 32 109 134