Browsing Category Archaeology & Ethnography

Barham (L.) & Mitchell (P.) THE FIRST AFRICANS, African archaeology from the earliest toolmakers to most recent foragers
601 pp., maps, illus., paperback, Cambridge, 2008. R330
Lawrence Barham and Peter Mitchell review and assess the archaeological and fossil evidence left by Africa's earliest homonid inhabitants and present a new synthesis of the archaeology of more recent hunter-gatherers on the continent.

Lawrence Barham is Senior Lecturer in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool.
Peter Mitchell is Porfessor of African Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Tutor and Fellow in Archaeology at St Hugh's College, Oxford.
Berger (L.R.) & Hilton-Barber (B.) IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF EVE, the mystery of human origins
325 pp., map, paperback, Washington, 2000. OUT OF PRINT
Lee Berger attempts to "cast light on the transition from not only archaid 'Homo sapiens' to modern humans but also from ape-man to man-ape to human" and argues the case for a southern African origin of humans.

Lee R.Berger is Director of the Paleoanthropology Unit for Research and Exploration at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Brett Hilton-Barber is a journalist specializing in the field of human origins.
Bonner (P.), Esterhuysen (A.) & Jenkins (T.) eds. A SEARCH FOR ORIGINS, science, history and South Africa's "Cradle of Humankind"
313 pp., maps, b/w & colour illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2007. R350
Foreword by Phillip V. Tobias.

A history of the "Cradle of Humankind" (bordering Gauteng and the North-West Province), and of the important human and animal fossils that have been discovered there.

Contents include "White South Africa and the South Africanisation of Science: humankind or kinds of humans?" by Saul Dubow,
"Fossil Homonids of the 'Cradle of Humankind'" by Kevin Kuykendall,
"The Emerging Stone Age" and "The Earlier Stone Age" by Amanda Esterhuysen,
"Rock Engravings in the Magaliesberg Valley" by David Pearce,
"The Myth of the Vacant Land" by Philip Bonner,
"Tswana History in the Bankenveld" by Simon Hall,
"The Early Boer Republics: changing political forces in the 'Cradle of Humankind', 1830s to 1890s" by Jane Carruthers,
"The Story of Sterkfontein since 1895" by Phillip V Tobias,
"The South African War of 1899-1902 in the 'Cradle of Humankind'" by Vincent Carruthers, and
"Voice of Politics, Voice of Science: politics and science after 1945" by Philip Bonner, Amanda Esterhuysen and Trefor Jenkins.

Historian Philip Bonner, archaeologist Amanda Esterhuysen and geneticist Trefor Jenkins are all academics based at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Bray (R.) et. al. GROWING UP IN THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA, childhood and adolescence in post-apartheid Cape Town
358 pp., map, colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2010. R270
This book by Rachel Bray, Imke Gooskens, Lauren Kahn, Sue Moses and Jeremy Seekings, all based at the time at the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town, is based on ethnographic research conducted in the Fish Hoek valley, with the participants in the study being drawn from the communities of Fish Hoek, Ocean View and Masiphumelele.

"This thought-provoking book provides rare and nuanced insight into the everyday lives of young people in post-apartheid South Africa. The social complexities it unravels make it essential reading for African scholars and for those interested in international childhood studies." Allison James, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield

Brink (Y.) THEY CAME TO STAY, discovering meaning in the 18th century Cape country dwelling
220 pp., illus., paperback, Stellenbosch, 2008. R320
Archaeologist Yvonne Brink seeks to understand more about the Dutch peasants who built the colonial farmsteads in the Cape winelands in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and why this style of architecture emerged only at the Cape and not in Dutch colonies in other parts of the world.
Chirikure (S.) et al MAPUNGUBWE RECONSIDERED, a living legacy, exploring beyond the rise and decline of the Mapungubwe state
151pp., b/w & colour illus., map, paperback , Johannesburg, 2015. R250
This is a combined edition of two previous publications, "Mapungubwe, a living legacy" and "Mapungubwe Reconsidered: exploring beyond the rise and decline of the Mapungubwe state".

Mapungubwe is one of the most important Iron Age sites in southern Africa and was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2003.
Christie (S.) UNDER NELSON MANDELA BOULEVARD, life among the stowaways
240pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2016. R240
Journalist Sean Christie's account of the Beachboys, a community of young Tanzanian men from the slums of Dar es Salaam who live under Nelson Mandela Boulevard on Cape Town's Foreshore.

Includes photographs by David Southwood.

"Sean Christie is wonderful. With his huge heart and his sharp eye, he has conjured a Cape Town you are unlikely to have imagined." Jonny Steinberg

"Gritty, courageous, beautifully rendered journalism and memoir" Justice Malala, author of "We Have Begun Our Descent"

Sean Christie was born in Zimbabwe in 1980. In 2015 he was awarded a special Taco Kuiper prize for his journalism on the Tanzanian stowaways who he writes about in this book. He lives in Cape Town.



Clarke (R.J.), Partridge (T.C.) CAVES OF THE APE-MEN, South Africa's Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site
151 pp., 4to., maps, b/w & colour illus., hardback, d.w., Pretoria, 2010. R390
A book on the fossil and archaeological wealth of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans in the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site near Johannesburg. Together these two sites have produced about 800 hominid species and have been pivotal in documenting the origin of our species and that of related hominids.

Ronald Clarke is Reader in Palaeoanthropology in the Institute for Human Evolution and the School of Anatomical Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. Since 1991 he has been directing the excavations at Sterkfontien Cave.

Timothy Partridge is an earth scientist at the University of the Witwatersrand and has been responsible for research on the stratigraphy, age and past environments at Sterkfontein and at other digs in the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site.

Kathleen Kuman is responsible for the study of the stone tools from Sterkfontien. She contributed the chapter on stone tools, "The First Handymen".
Delius (P.), Maggs (T.) & Schoeman (A.) FORGOTTEN WORLD, the stone-walled settlements of the Mpumalanga escarpment
157pp., b/w & colour illus., maps, paperback, Johannesburg, 2014. R270
The history of the ruined settlements in Mpumalang known as Bokoni, the country of the Koni people.

Between Ohrigstad and Carolina, over 10 000 square kilometres of the escarpment are connected into a complex web of stone-walled homesteads, terraced fields and linking roads. The archaeological and historical research presented in "Forgotten World" demonstrates "that these settlements were at their peak between 1500 and 1820, that they housed a substantial population, organised vast amounts of labour for infrastructural development and displayed extraordinary levels of agricultural innovation and productivity" (from the back cover), and that the Koni were part of a trading system linked to the coast of Mozambique and the world of Indian Ocean trade.

Peter Delius is Professor of History at the University of the Witwatersrand. His latest books include "Mpumalanga: history and heritage" and "Mpumalanga, an illustrated history", both with Michael Hay, and "A Long Way Home: migrant worker worlds 1800-2014", co-edited with Laura Phillips and Fiona Rankin-Smith.
In the 1960s archaeologist Tim Maggs did pioneering research on the precolonial black farming communities in the Free State. Retired to the Western Cape, he continues to cooperate in research projects on the Later Stone Age and early farming communities in the Western Cape, North West and especially Mpumalanga.
Alex Schoeman is a senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Ellert (H.) MOÇAMBIQUE MOSAIC, the material culture of Moçambique
420pp., 4to., b/w & colour illus., maps, hardback, No Place, 2013. R950
This ethnography includes pottery, pipes, basketry, stools, household objects, clothing and adornments, spears, bows and arrows, swords, dancing weapons, musical instruments, and vessels for food and drink.

Henrik Ellert was born in Denmark and grew up in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He was educated in Zimbabwe, Denmark and Portugal - and now divides his time between Denmark and southern Africa. He professional experience focuses mainly on private sector development in Africa and his work takes him to most southern and east African countries.
Esterhuysen (A.) STERKFONTEIN, early hominid site in the "Cradle of Humankind"
64 pp., maps, b/w & colour illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2007. R150
An overview of the geological and fossil history of the Sterkfontin Valley.

Amanda Esterhuysen is an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Hell (J.) & Schonle (A.) eds. RUINS OF MODERNITY,
511 pp., illus., paperback, Durham, 2010. R315
A collection of essays on how we look at, write about and represent ruins.

Contributions include:
"Cities, Citizenship, and other 'Joburg Stories'" by Lucia Saks
"Colonial Melancholy and Fordist Nostalgia: the ruinscapes of Namibia and Detroit" by George Steinmetz
"Invisible at a Glance: indigenous cultures of the past, ruins, archaeological sites, and our regimes of visibility" by Gustavio Verdesio.

Julia Hell is associate professor of German Studies at the University of Michigan.
Andreas Schonle is a professor of Russian studies at Queen Mary, University of London.
Kuljian (C.) DARWIN'S HUNCH, science, race and the search for human origins
352pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2016. R295
Christa Kuljian discusses how reseach in the fields of palaeoanthropology and genetics over the past century in Europe, the USA, and South Africa has been shaped by the prevailing social and political context.

Christa Kuljian is a Writing Fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). She is also the author of "Sanctuary, how an inner-city church spilled onto a sidewalk".
Martin (J.) A MILLIMETRE OF DUST, visiting ancestral sites
269 pp., illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2008. R235
A travel memoir in which Julia Martin describes her journey with her family from Cape Town to the Northern Cape to visit Stone Age archaeological sites.

"A delightful journey through the natural and cultural history of the Cape. This is an odyssey that explores the living landscape and allows Martin to excavate its underlying stories. It's well worth the trip". John Parkington, Professor of Archaeology, University of Cape Town.

"It is a story of our past and our present and our future. It is a poem to the country, then and now." Mike Nicol

Julia Martin teaches in the English Department at the University of the Western Cape. She is also the author of the novel, "Writing Home".
Meredith (M.) BORN IN AFRICA, the quest for the origins of human life
230 pp., maps, illus., paperback, First S.A.Edition, Johannesburg, 2011. R195
Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made over the last hundred years, discoveries that have firmly established Africa as the birthplace of "homo sapiens", the modern human.

Martin Meredith has written many books on Africa, including "The State of Africa: a history of the continent since independence", "Diamonds, Gold and War: the making of South Africa", "Coming to Terms: South Africa's search for truth", "Fischer's Choice: a life of Bram Fischer: and "Nelson Mandela, a biography".
Parkington (J.) SHORELINES, STRANDLOPERS AND SHELL MIDDENS,
127 pp., maps, colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2006. R220
John Parkington examines the shell heaps, bones and artefacts found along the shoreline of South Africa for information about how people lived along the shore thousands of years ago.

Parkington is Professor of Archeology at the University of Cape Town.
Schrire (C.) et al HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE CAPE, the material culture of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), with contributions by Jeffrey J. Durst, Adam Heinrich, Stacey Jordan, Jane Klose and Carolyn White
287pp., 4to., illus., maps, paperback, CD-Rom, FIrst SA Edition, Cape Town, 2015. R375
First published in the USA in 2014.

Documents the excavation, conservation and analysis of Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) artifacts at the Cape of Good Hope from the 1970s into the 1990s. Includes a CD-Rom with a video reconstruction of one of the V.O.C. outposts, a comprehensive catalogue of collections, and colour images of some of the artifacts.

Carmel Schrire is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick, USA. She is also the author of "Digging Through Darkness: chronicles of an archaeologist".



Shepherd (N.) THE MIRROR IN THE GROUND, archaeology, photography and the making of disciplinary archive
118pp., illus., hardback, Johannesburg, 2015. R250
Drawing on the archive of the South African archaeologist John Goodwin (1900-1959) Nick Shepherd interrogates the role of photography in the making of a disciplinary project in archaeology.

Foreword by Pippa Skotnes.

"Human archaeology in southern Africa has since its beginnings been implicated in the projects of evolutionism and biological racism. Nick Shepherd's delvings into the underground of the discipline are part of an honourable effort to save archaeology from its past, an effort that starts with recognising dig sites for what they have always been: the sacred ground of the dispossessed. 'The Mirror in the Ground' offers us a fresh way of looking at the photographic archive, with a commentary as moving as it is unsettling." JM Coetzee

"The appeal of this superb book is its immediacy, its intimacy. This book is not about past events but about the world as we now know it. The beautifully written texts that accompany the photographs (not just mere glosses but powerful invocations to see them otherwise) provoke the violence of looking and knowing [that] modernity deployed worldwide as a neutral cognitive device." Cristóbal Gnecco, editor of Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress

Nick Shepherd is Associate Professor of Archaeology and African Studies at the University of Cape Town, where he convenes a graduate programme on Public Culture and Heritage.
Sleeper-Smith (S.) ed. CONTESTING KNOWLEDGE, museums and indigenous perspectives
362 pp., maps, illus., paperback, Lincoln, 2009. R395
A collection of essays that illustrate the importance of indigenous perspectives for museums.

Contributions include "Ethnographic Elaborations, Indigenous Contestations, and the Cultural Politics of Imagining Community: a view from the District Six Museum in South Africa" by Ciraj Rassool,
"The Legacy of Ethnography" by Ray Silverman,
"Ethnographic Showcases as Sites of Knowledge Production and Indigenous Resistance" by Zine Magubane, and
"Museums and Indigenous Perspectives on Curatorial Practice" by Jacki Thompson Rand.

Susan Sleeper-Smith is a professor at Michigan State University.
Stoffberg (D.) SLAVE ART AT STILL BAY,
52 pp., map, b/w & colour illus., paperback, Still Bay, 2005. R95
Translated from the Afrikaans and edited by Marie-Lou Roux.

Dirk Stoffberg traces the origin of a relief sculpture against a rock face in a small cave in Still Bay, Western Cape, possibly carved by a run-away slave.
Swanepoel (N.), Esterhuysen (A.) & Bonner (P.) eds. FIVE HUNDRED YEARS REDISCOVERED, southern African precedents and prospects, "500 Year Initiative", conference proceedings
284 pp., maps, b/w & colour illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2008. R270
In 2006 a group of archaeologists and historians became involved in the "500 Year Initiative" (FYI), which aims to re-examine the last 500 years and so broaden current perceptions about southern Africa's colonial past. This book is a collection of papers presented at their 2007 conference.

Contributions include "South Africa in Africa More than Five Hundred Years Ago: some questions" by Neil Parsons,
"Towards an Outline of the Oral Geography, Historical Identity and Political Economy of the Late Precolonial Tswana in the Rustenburg Region" by Simon Hall, Mark Anderson, Jan Boeyens and Francois Coetzee,
"Historical Archaeologies of Southern Africa: precedents and prospects" by Joanna Behrens and Natalie Swanepoel,
"Swazi Oral Tradition and Northern Nguni Historical Archaeology" by Philip Bonner,
"Post-European Contact Glass Beads From the Southern African Interior: a tentative look at trade, consumption and identities" by Marilee Wood,
"Revisiting Bokoni: populating the Stone Ruins of the Mpumalanga Escarpment" by P.Delius and M.H.Schoeman, and
"Mfecane Mutation in Central Africa: a comparison of the Makololo and the Ngoni in Zambia, 1830s-1898" by Ackson Kanduza.

Natalie Swanepoel is an archaeologist at the University of South Africa.
Amanda Esterhuysen is an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Philip Bonner is a historian at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Swartz (S.) IKASI, the moral ecology of South Africa's township youth
228 pp., illus., paperback, First S.A.Edition, Johannesburg, 2010. R250
First published in England in 2009.

In this ethnographic study Sharlene Swartz "examines how disenfranchised youth living in poverty think about morality". She worked with a group of thirty-seven young people aged between fourteen and twenty from Langa, a township near Cape Town.

"Written with tempered passion, Sharlene Swartz's award winning research heralds a powerful new voice, one that can clarify the ambiguity and ambivalence of moral development under difficult circumstances." Professor Robert Selman, Harvard University

"Sharlene Swartz has given us a stunning, prize-winning account of the morality of township youth. The brilliance of her ethnography marks a definitive shift in sociological studies of youth and the field of moral education by demonstrating the power of empirical research into moral formations." Professor Madeleine Arnot, University of Cambridge

Sociologist Sharlene Swartz is a senior research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council and a visiting research fellow at the University of Cambridge.
Tiley-Nel (S.) comp. & ed. MAPUNGUBWE REMEMBERED, contributions to Mapungubwe by the University of Pretoria
299 pp., 4to., b/w & colour illus., hardback, d.w., Pretoria, 2011. R469
This book is an overview of research on Mapungubwe, one of the most important Iron Age sites in southern Africa, by twenty authors, mostly staff and alumni of the University of Pretoria. It offers nine biographies of the early pioneers, papers written by researchers in their respective disciplines and many unpublished archival photographs.

Contributions include:
"The Discovery of Mapungubwe" by Jerry van Graan
"An introduction to the Mapungubwe and K2 Cultural Landscape" by Andrie Meyer
"Rites of Passage in the Rhino's Shadow: rock art traditions south of the Limpopo" by Isabelle Barrier
"'Sermons in stone, poetry in potsherds': the history of the Mapungubwe Collection" by Sian Tiley-Nel
"Refiguring the Female Form: human clay figurines from K2 and Mapungubwe Hill" by Adri Humphreys
"'Gods, Graves and Scholars': the return of human remains to their resting place" by Johan Nel
"Mapungubwe and the Media: refuting the myth" by Nikki Haw.
Tobias (P.) INTO THE PAST, a memoir, memorial edition
314 pp., illus., paperback, Revised Edition, Johannesburg, (2005) 2013. R230
Philip Tobias was well-known for his pioneering work at South African fossil hominid sites, such as Sterkfontein, and for his partnership with Louis and Mary Leakey, studying fossils from Tanzania and Kenya. He died in 2012. This memorial edition, originally published in 2005, contains material from an unfinished second volume of his memoirs, which describes his collaboration with the Leakeys on the fossil remains of Olduvai Gorge.
Willis (D.) (ed.) BLACK VENUS 2010, they called her "Hottentot"
238 pp., illus., paperback, Philadelphia, 2010. R375
An anthology of art, critical writings, poetry, and prose on and around the subject of Sarah Bartmann.

Contributions include:
"Which Bodies Matter? feminism, post-structuralism, race, and the curious theoretical odyssey of the 'Hottentot Venus'" by Zine Magubane,
"Exhibit A: a private life without a narrative" by J.Yolande Daniels,
"Historic Retrievals: confronting visual evidence and the imaging of truth" by Lisa Gail Collins,
"A.K.A. Saartjie: the 'Hottentot Venus' in context (some recollections and a dialogue), 1998/2004" by Kellie Jones,
"The Imperial Gaze: Venus Hottentot, human display, and world fairs" by Michele Wallace.
Wright (J.) & Mazel (A.) UKHAHLAMBA, umlando wezintaba zoKhahlamba/ exploring the history of the uKhahlamba mountains
87 pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2012. R150
John Wright and Aron Mazel tell the story of the different peoples who have lived in the uKhahlamba mountains between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho - from the hunter-gatherers who began living there at least 25 000 years ago to the Europeans who farmed in the foothills after 1840.

John Wright is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Archaeologist Aron Mazel works at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University, United Kingdom.

Text in English and Zulu. English text translated by Sylvia Zulu, lecturer in the Department of Language and Translation at Durban University of Technology.