The latest volume of SA Humanities interdisciplinary journal, produced by the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, is now available online. Access to the online and printed editions is via subscription or the electronic version can be accessed through one of several global repositories. These repositories are SABINET, EBSCO and PROQUEST.

Volume 32 includes nine peer-reviewed papers covering diverse topics including Mapungubwe, KwaZulu-Natal Iron Age burials, Thomas Baines, a Later Stone Age site in Lesotho, Paul-Lenert Breutz, Wilton scrapers, exhibiting apartheid, lions in San beliefs, and ethnoarchaeological fieldwork in Zimbabwe.

The printed version of the journal will be available at the end of the first quarter of 2020. Southern African Humanities is rated as being in the top quartile of global archaeology journals by Scimago and is the highest-ranked archaeology journal produced in southern Africa.

 

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In December 2019, Dr Geoff Blundell and Troy Meyers visited Cape Town to undertake research in the National Archives Repository on the Khoisan peoples of the Nomansland regionNomansland was the name given to the area that fell between the Cape and Natal colonies and beyond the control of the large Cape Nguni polities along the south-eastern seaboard of South Africa. Of course, the area was not really a No-Man’s-land but was the home territory of a number of Khoisan peoples. After 1863, when the Griqua made their epic trek from the interior of the country through the Drakensberg and eventually settled in the region of present-day Kokstad, the area was renamed East Griqualand. The work undertaken by Dr Blundell and Troy Meyers is part of an ongoing collaborative project that looks at the histories of Khoisan peoples in the Nomansland area.

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In November 2019, researchers in the KZNM Department of Human Sciences organized a visit to uMgungundlovu, the site of Dingane’s capital between 1828 and 1838. The archaeological archive linked to this site resides in the KZNM but is also dispersed across other institutions and Chief Curator of Archaeology in the Department of Human Sciences at KZNM Gavin Whitelaw is in the process of convening and making sense of these materials. 

The visit arose out of a collaboration between the Five Hundred Year Archive, ongoing curatorial extensions of the Digital Bleek & Lloyd (University of Cape Town) and metsemegologolo (Wits), a consortium of projects working together under the African Digital Humanities programme (Wits), to develop innovative digital archives of diverse materials pertinent to the history of the region prior to colonial times. The group comprised also Justine Wintjes (KZNM), Stefania Merlo, Anton Coetzee and John Wright (Wits), Carolyn Hamilton, Hussein Suleman, Thokozani Mhlambi and Michelle House (UCT), Frans Roodt (University of Limpopo) and Steve Kotze (KwaMuhle Museum). 

PICTURED: John Wright and Thokozani Mhlambi walking up towards the isigodloat uMgungundlovuPhoto by Justine Wintjes (2019). 

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In July, 2019, Claire Dean of Dean & Associates visited KZNM and conducted a needs assessment of the collections within both the Natural (DNS) and the Human Sciences (DHS) departments as well as considering the needs of items on exhibition. The recommendations in Dean & Associates’ report, along with the recommendations made by the accounting firm, Grant Thornton, in their Heritage Asset Assessment will be used to guide adjustments to the policies, protocols and practices of collections management at the KZNM. The goal of these assessments is to see where the KZNM can bring its collections management in line with best global practices.

DNS has well over 100,000 items in their collections, including some of the most significant collections of Malacology and Diptera in the world. DHS has some 40,000 objects across Anthropology, Archaeology and History collections. These collections are visited every year by scholars from around the world for their valuable scientific knowledge. The final report will be accepted by museum management by the end of 2019 and submitted to Council. In years to come, Dean and Associates’ recommendations will be implemented.

An example of insect storage in the DNS, all requiring the same environmental conditions, making it possible to consolidate storage space for thousands of individual specimens – a characteristic less common with DHS collections’ storage. Photograph by Claire Dean.

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Opening Times

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Saturdays - Closed 
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ENTRANCE CHARGES

Adults (over 17 years) : R10.00

Children (4-17 years) : R 2.50 

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