Mudzunga Munzhedzi of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum celebrates Africa Month:
His research focuses on the historical development of the archaeological archive in the KwaZulu-Natal Museum. He is particularly interested in the records collected by amateur archaeologist Mike Moon. In the late 1970s Mike left formal employment, partly so that he could spend more time pursuing his wide-ranging interests. He soon connected with the archaeologists at the Museum, who guided his explorations of KwaZulu-Natal in general and the wider Durban region especially. He joined the South African Archaeological Society and participated in various fieldwork projects, including the excavation of the well-known Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter near the Mariannhill toll plaza. In a sense, Mike became a ‘field agent’ for the Museum, watching development projects as they broke ground and disturbed archaeological sites. He gave detailed records of the sites to the Museum and so enabled the salvage of material threatened with destruction and loss. Among other things, his work was a key factor in the decision by the Department of Water Affairs to fund an archaeological rescue project in the uMngeni valley during the construction of Inanda Dam. Mike’s many records and photographs and the associated artifacts are now housed at the Museum, available forever to researchers of the African past. They are a wonderful example of ‘co-production’ between the amateur and professional worlds.