A local farmer by the name of Van Graan and his son visited Mapungubwe for the first time in 1932. In the following year they brought the site to the attention of Leo Fouche, professor of History at the University of Pretoria. But Mapungubwe was not as remote and unknown as the romanticized narrative in Fouche’s book implies. Several published and archival references indicate that one Bernard Francois (Frans) Lotrie knew it well. Lotrie apparently lived a hermit’s life in a cave near Mapungubwe Hill in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Lotrie’s grandson Berend Lottering, in particular, appears to have guided paying visitors to the site. In this talk I investigate the Lotrie/Lottering relationship to Mapungubwe. I also examine the archival evidence of early place-names for an older, now-forgotten knowledge of the Mapungubwe landscape that potentially connects historical memory to archaeological results.
Dr Justine Wintjes lectures in the School of Arts at Wits University. One of her main interests is the intersection between art and archaeology. She has a Masters degree in fine art from La Cambre in Brussels, a Masters in archaeological science from Leiden University, and a PhD in art history from Wits. Her doctoral thesis was on the production of knowledge of rock art in southern Africa. She is currently working on documentary and visual materials collected by the German ethnographic expedition to southern Africa led by Leo Frobenius in 1928-30.
- Date: Thursday, 21 September 21 at 20h00
- Charge: Members: free; non-members: R30
- Venue: Roedean, 35 Princess of Wales Terrace Parktown
- Hosted by Wits Archaeology and Archaeological Society of South Africa Northern Branch