Our long standing collaboration with the Dikwanyane Community and the Lydenburg Museum has borne fruit! The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in terms of section 27 of the National Heritage Resources Act No, 25 of 1999 (“the NHRA”), SAHRA has notified stakeholders of the declaration of the Boomplaats Rock Engraving Site Complex.
SAHRA has identified the site as having qualities so exceptional that it is of special national significance and warrants the declaration as a National Heritage Site.
The nomination statement of significance indicates that: "The Boomplaats rock engraving complex contains the most significant collection of rock engravings made by pre-colonial Later Iron Age farming communities in South Africa and serves as an invaluable historic record of a deep-rooted cultural identity associated with the landscape. This identity survives to the present day where local descendants of the Later Iron Age farmers identify with the site. The site also has significant potential to be developed for tourism and to serve as a place where this rich cultural heritage can be dispersed to visitors. Boomplaats was the first site of its kind to be recorded more than a century ago, and has been the at the centre of scientific research for this type of archaeological site ever since, greatly contributing towards our understanding of Later Iron Age farmer communities’ social organisation, and also served to corroborate interpretations of researchers regarding Later Iron Age settlement layout and function, serving as a window into the world of the BaKoni. These socio-cultural, historic and scientific research values, along with the stunning aesthetic value of the engravings, coupled to their fine state of preservation, bestow on Boomplaats a site significance of national importance".
Announcement from Bokoni Farmscapes. The Bokoni farmscapes project is a National Research Foundation African Origins Platform funded initiative based in the Archaeology division of the School of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Bokoni is the only place in South Africa, and one of the few in Africa, where people used stonewalled terraces for agricultural purposes. Other sites in Africa include Engaruka, Tanzania and Nyanga, Zimbabwe. Stonewalled terraced agricultural sites are significant because they speak to innovative approaches to farming, and long term relationships with the land. This challenges imaginings of African farming as unsustainable and constantly shifting.