Saturday, March 9, 2024 - 00:00

Two priceless heritage sites occur on Toppieshoek, a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) property on the banks of Hartbeespoort Dam within the UNESCO designated Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve. One of them is the Broederstroom Early Iron Age archaeological site, the earliest known African village in this region, occupied in about AD 350. The other is the former Leiden University Observatory Southern Station which includes two historic telescopes built in the early 1900s and operational at Toppieshoek for 25 years until 1978.

These are national heritage treasures that offer unparalleled opportunities for experiential learning and teaching.

For the past year, a collaborative venture between the Magaliesberg Association for Culture and Heritage (MACH) and TUT has been assessing ways of restoring the sites. Vincent Carruthers and Professor Jane Carruthers have worked with astronomers and archaeologists in preparing realistic proposals for TUT on how the sites might be restored, responsibly curated and put to practical use for the benefit of students and the public. A comprehensive report with detailed proposals has been prepared, an extensive bibliography has been compiled, a book describing the sites and their history has been published, and six outdoor information boards have been erected.

To mark the successful conclusion of this project, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of TUT, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke will unveil a Blue Plaque at Toppieshoek on 9 March 2024. The celebration will include an exhibition of archaeological artefacts, the launch of the book The Heritage Treasures of Toppieshoek, and a talk on the history of the telescopes and the ancient African village.

Click here to RSVP. Official invite attached below.

Events Exhibitions Tours
Tuesday, February 13, 2024 - 22:36

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