The tour will take us to the Suikerbosrand hills, about an hour's drive south of Johannesburg. The western foothills contain more than 700 pre-colonial stone-walled ruins, the densest cluster of such structures in southern Gauteng. Professor Sadr's study of these ruins indicates that they describe a Tswana capital with an estimated population of between 6000-12000 people. The Difaqane seems to have led to the collapse of this kingdom a decade before the Boer trekkers arrived in this landscape. In this tour we will visit the central sector of the capital and look closely at some of the ruins and their unusual architectural features. Karim will give us a talk on their archaeological significance.
Karim Sadr is professor in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of Witwatersrand. His main research interest is the question of how and why hunter-gatherers became food producers, namely farmers and/or herders. Lately he has been investigating the formation of new societies in the Highveld during the mid-second millennium AD. The people concerned built the numerous settlements with stone-walled structures whose ruins are to be found in the region. He is wondering why the population opted for urban settlement in the late 18th century.
- Date: Sunday, 21 July 2019
- Park and Meet at: The Origins parking area, Wits University, Yale Road (off Empire Road), Milner Park, Johannesburg
- Note: The bus will take us as close to the location as possible but participants will be required to walk from the bus to the ruins and back. In total participants are expected to walk between 2 – 5 km at a leisurely pace on uneven ground.
- Time: Meet at 08:30 for 09:00 Sharp
- Charge: Members R300, non-members R350
- Bring: Sun hat, sun-tan lotion, walking shoes, a picnic basket and plenty of water.
- Booking is essential: Contact Anne Raeburn firstname.lastname@example.org or 072 349 6507 confirm that a place is available before making any payment.