Previous projects

A few significant projects are highlighted here with short descriptors. Click the links for more detailed information.

King Williams Town

Lovedale College King William’s Town: What are now the grounds of the Lovedale FET College in King Williams Town is where the complex of British military buildings (known as the Military Reserve) was located. The foundations for new classrooms intersected pits containing discarded weapons and ammunition from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.> Read more: Kingwilliams Town

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Chavonnes Battery: The Chavonnes Battery was built between 1714 and 1725 to defend the Table Bay anchorage. The position was traced with mapwork and the remaining portions preserved below an old fish processing factory were excavated and are incorporated in a museum in the Waterfront.> Read more: Chavonnes Battery

Peers cave

Peers Cave: Situated in the Fish Hoek Valley on the Cape Peninsula, the large cave was originally called Skildergat (for the rock paintings that were once visible). It was  later renamed Peers Cave after the father and son team, who extensively “excavated” the cave from 1927 on. Amongst many artefacts, they also recovered 12 skeletons, including the so-called “Fish Hoek Man”.  In 2002, exploratory excavations took place to determine if any in situ archaeological layers remained in the cave, and their condition. The old excavations were identified. > Read more: Peers Cave

Duinefontein

Duinefontein: The excavations between 1997 and 2001 investigated  finds made in 1975 by Prof Klein in dunes north of the Koeberg Nuclear Power plant. Detailed excavations examined the association of bones and stone artefacts to understand the nature and extent of human involvement at the site. > Read more: Duinefontein and Boegoeberg

Boegoeberg Boegoeberg: The Boegoeberg sites (BOG1 and 2) were discovered when sand was bulldozed  from a gully in the local schist bedrock at the Alexcor diamond mine south of Alexander Bay on the coast of the northern Cape Province. BOG 1 was a shallow, fossiliferous shelter in the gully wall. BOG 2 was another shelter to the north that contained a residual stratified MSA shell midden. The mine geologist notified Prof John Parkington examined the sites and recovered a small bone sample from BOG1. Unfortunately, before it could be stopped, mining had damaged or removed much of the deposit from both the shelters. Nevertheless, in November 1994 and April 1996, with funding provided by Prof Richard Klein from Stanford University, Dave Halkett and Tim Hart were able to excavate the surviving material in both shelters.

> Read more: Duinefontein and Boegoeberg

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Ysterfontein

Between 2003 and 2008, excavations were carried out at the site known as Yzerfontein 1 (YFT1) on the cliff at the entrance to the harbour in the coastal town, approximately 90 km north of Cape Town. MSA artefacts and shell were exposed during construction of the harbour in the 1960’s and were noted by Dr Graham Avery then with the South African Museum though nothing further was done. With a good knowledge of construction equipment, the ACO devised a means to safely excavate the precariously positioned cliffside site. With funding from Prof Richard Klein at Stanford, a team made up of the ACO, IZIKO, and Universities of Stanford and of California (Davis), excavations revealed the remains of a stratified MSA shell midden.

> Read more: Ysterfontein

Noetzie

Noetzie

In 2006, the Archaeology Contracts Office was asked by Pezula Private Estate (Pty) Ltd to assess the site of a proposed swimming pool in front of one of the famous Noetzie “castles” to the east of Knysna. Test excavations indicated that a stratified LSA shell midden was located on the site. Extensive excavations of the shell midden were carried out in 2006-2007.

> Read more: Noetzie

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