KZNM at the Southern African Mountain conference!
Last week was held the first Southern African Mountain Conference, ground-breaking in its attempt to approach mountains from many different angles, including ecological, social and archaeological.
The KwaZulu-Natal Museum was well represented at the conference with four papers. Dr Igor Muratov spoke about the distribution of terrestrial molluscs in mountain areas and the importance of micro-habitats for their recovery. Dr Thembeka Nxele discussed how more research is needed to understand native mountain earthworms and their possible vulnerabilities. Dr Ghilraen Laue spoke about regional differences in rock art styles from one mountain zone to another. Dr Justine Wintjes and Ms Nothando Shabalala’s paper dealt with ritual practices aimed at transforming rock shelters into homes.
The conference took place at Champagne Sports Resort, surrounded by a dramatic vista of mountain peaks, rain clouds and occasional sunbeams. It was a festive occasion because for many of the delegates it was the first in-person conference attended since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Justine Wintjes, Nothando Shabalala, Ghilraen Laue and Thembeka Nxele at SAMC. Photo: Igor Muratov.