Department: Archaeology

Functions & Services                                                          

Research is based on fieldwork (surveys and excavations) and analysis of existing collections. Upgraded archiving of the collections enhances their value as research collections.

Current projects reflect research initiated by the museum as well as a range of collaborative ventures with or by visiting researchers. CURRENT PROJECTS

Mamo Seliane digs the past.  Tour to Rooidam.

Conservation and Heritage Management

Store house of an ancient past.1. Collection Management

Archaeological Data Recording Centre.
A major undertaking from the late 1980s has been computerisation of records (1908 to the present), part of a general upgrading of the archaeological archive for the Northern Cape.  See Collections.

2. Site Management
We play a role in concert with other heritage authorities, institutions, interest groups, and individuals in helping to conserve sites, which are the contexts of non-renewable and fragile traces from the past. By arrangement with SAHRA, the McGregor Museum Archaeology Department issues National Site Numbers for the Northern Cape.

A hole well dug - Petrus Wilson, Stranger Moholo, Koot Mswula & Vincent Dinku.3. Contract services 
Archaeological resources in the landscape - being unique, non-renewable and fragile - are highly susceptible to damage by agriculture, mining and development. The department undertakes archaeological impact assessments and mitigation in terms of heritage and environmental legislation and regulations. See Heritage Management page.

4. Education and Tourism Resources:

Including Outreach - Publication - Display - Education -  Tourism Research results are communicated by way of: publications for the scientific community and the wider public; displays; education programmes and community outreach; and tour guiding.  In the past decade archaeology staff have been involved in developing displays at the McGregor Museum (Ancestors Gallery), Wonderwerk Cave, Victoria West Museum, Barkly West (Canteen Kopje and new Barkly West Museum), and Wildebeest Kuil at the  Rock Art Centre. 


Petrus Wilson interviewed at Wildebeest Kuil.

Development of archaeological tourism has potential to benefit the people and the economy of the Northern Cape. Learning about our pre-colonial history can be enriching and empowering in other less tangible ways. 

 A Great and spectacular history:

"The South African central plateau is unique in the that it supported large numbers of non-farming people who were also prolific makers of stone tools until very recent times. A brief comparison of surveys conducted elsewhere in the world reveals promptly and unambiguously that South Africa is richer in Stone Age remains than any other place on earth." (C.G. Sampson, Seekoei Valley survey, 1985).

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