A HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE
N’WAMURIWA SITE OF STEINAECKER’S HORSE, TSHOKWANE DISTRICT, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (REPORT NO I)
Steinaecker’s Horse was a voluntary unit who fought on the side of the British during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The N’wamuriwa site, also known as the Metsi-Metsi outpost, is one of a number of sites found during a survey of sites linked to the Steinaecker’s Horse military unit. It lies approximately 23 km north-east of Tshokwane and 41 km north-east of Skukuza, close to the Orpen dam.
There is little information known about the site. No artefacts are visible on the surface which may indicate that the site was only used briefly. It also is possible that archaeological material mat have washed away since the site is located against the slope of a hill (N’wamuriwa) and close to a river. The site consists of military trenches and was used between 1901 and 1902 by Steinaecker’s Horse. Apparently the black members of the unit used the site to guard over the Nwaswitsontso Poort.
The site was excavated in order to investigate the trenches and thus learn more about Steinaecker’s Horse. The research also aimed at comparing cultural material from the site with that of other excavated Steinaecker’s Horse sites.
During the excavation season, four excavations were conducted. It included six trenches. Apart from wooden stumps and stones used in the construction of the trenches, no other artefacts was found. This is strange, but may be because the bottom of the trenches was not yet found or due to cultural material being washed away.
This means that no artefacts with a specific military origin were excavated here. Such artefacts would undoubtedly corroborate that the soldiers of Steinaecker’s Horse were present here. Dating of the site also is impossible without dateable artefacts. Thus, the further excavation of the site is needed.
Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) Accredited member of ASAPA Accredited member of SASCH